PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh police say they are searching for two suspects after a man who is legally blind was assaulted during a home invasion early Saturday morning in Beechview.
Police were called to the scene around 6:45 a.m. in the 1500-block of Rutherford Avenue.
Tom Guzzi, 71, says he had just gotten home from a walk with his dog when the two men knocked on his door and claimed to be from Columbia Gas.
Because the Guzzi is legally blind, police say he could not offer a full description of the two men but did tell officers that they were wearing hats and yellow or orange colored safety vests.
The victim reported to police that the suspects asked him to show them to the home’s gas meter because there had been a leak on the street.
Police say Guzzi was assaulted after showing the suspects to the gas meter in his basement.
“As soon as I got to the bottom and opened the cellar… and showed them where it was, that’s when they started pouncing on me and beating me,” said Guzzi.
One of the suspects is accused of putting a gun into the victim’s mouth, according to authorities.
“‘Shoot him, shoot him,’ and that’s when I said, ‘Oh my God – not here, not now,’ and I started screaming and hollering,” said Guzzi.
He says the suspects pistol-whipped him at least 10 times, had a Taser and used a VCR to beat him.
Guzzi says he wasn’t going down without a fight. He was able to pull the gun out of his mouth and refused to let the men tie his hands behind his back.
“I said, ‘John, call the cops, call the cops,’ and they heard that and started running up the steps,” said Guzzi.
No one else was home, but Guzzi was convincing enough to scare the men.
Still determined, he said he chased the men up the stairs where one took a picture off the wall and smashed it over Guzzi’s head.
Guzzi said he grabbed a pot from the kitchen, swinging and hitting them until they were out of his home.
Guzzi doesn’t know what the men were after, but says they knew what they were doing before they even got there. He says he thinks all they got away with was his wallet and an empty safe.
“They had me somewhere where I couldn’t get away and they knew it,” Guzzi added.
The men headed in an unknown direction.
Police have not made any arrests or named any suspects in the case.
But they are encouraging all residents, especially the elderly, to ask for identification before they allow anyone into their home. Also, when in doubt, residents are asked to call 911.
Anyone with information on the Beechview case is being asked to contact the Pittsburgh Police Robbery Squad at 412-323-7151.