Elderly man stabbed in robbery attempt - FOX 13 News

Elderly man stabbed in robbery attempt

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(Photo Steve Nichols, FOX 13) (Photo Steve Nichols, FOX 13)

An elderly man was beaten and stabbed in an apparent robbery attempt Tuesday morning.

It happened at an apartment complex off 76th Avenue North in Pinellas Park.

Police say two men and a woman followed 83-year-old Charles Clark as he was heading home from a trip to the store.

When he got out of the car, officers say they attacked him and stabbed him at least twice.

A passerby say the attack and rushed to help; that's when the suspects fled on bicycles.

Clark was taken to the hospital; he was released Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators do not have a good description of the suspects, but the woman allegedly had thick red or auburn hair that she was trying to tuck under a hood.

It was old skills, dormant for decades, that helped Clark fend off the surprise attack.

Clark had just returned home from a shopping trip, closed the front door of his car and was opening the rear door when a suspect grabbed him from behind.

"He had me around my back, he was over me, and he had his arm hitting me with the knife," Clark recalled Tuesday afternoon.

Clark was stabbed three times in the arm, his jaw was broken and he suffered numerous scrapes and cuts.

However, in high school, Clark was a boxer.

"I did know how to punch somebody, I was pretty good at the time," he chuckled.

That introduced one defense strategy.

"I hit him as hard as I could -- couple of times," Clark said. "I think I knocked him down even."

His second defense strategy:

"I just screamed like hell and hollered and hollered and hollered," he said.

That attracted the attention of a neighbor in the Park Plaza building where Clark lives.

"It was horrible," Mark Lindsey said. "Seeing the blood all over him, all over the ground, and just hearing the man scream....nothing I could do from the third floor."

Lindsey did yell down, and the suspect and two companions took off.

"He looked up at me and they ran away," Lindsey said, referring to the primary assailant. "If I saw them again, I would definitely recognize them."

Pinellas Park Police released security video from a nearby convenience store, which they think shows two of the three people involved in the attack.

They think the suspects may have seen Clark in the same shopping complex and followed him home. Clark thinks they were after his car, and investigators think he might be right.

"We don't think the victim was targeted specifically, we just believe this was a crime of opportunity," Sgt. Adam Geissenberger said.

The descriptions of the suspects are vague: all three are believed to be in their late teens. Two are only are only described as black males, one with dark complexion, and the other with a medium complexion. The remaining description may be more telling: a heavyset Hispanic female with reddish-brown hair.

"Our understanding is there was a lot of hair...that she continued to try to stuff under a gray hooded sweatshirt," Geissenberger said.

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