Teen sends biting attacker packing

2016-10-27 11:03
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Pietermaritzburg - A heroic teenager bravely fought off a screwdriver-wielding attacker who tried to break into a Belfort home on Tuesday afternoon.

In the tussle, the robber allegedly wounded the 16-year-old more than a dozen times until he was beaten off.

Community members and police rallied together in a manhunt for the intruder — who had also snatched a handbag from a neighbour’s home while in flight — and eventually caught the man at the Site 11 informal settlement near Otto’s Bluff.

Speaking to The Witness on Wednesday, Seagull Road resident Keaton Odayan, who was alone in the house at the time, said he was relaxing in his bedroom when he heard a strange tapping noise on the bathroom window.

With his dog barking outside, Keaton entered the bathroom to find a man halfway through the window.

“When he saw me, his foot got stuck on the window sill and he fell into the bathtub. He stood up with a screwdriver in one hand and a packet in the other. I turned around and ran into my room,” Keaton said.

Stab wounds

When the burglar tried to grab Keaton’s beloved iPad from the bed, Keaton said he punched the man in the face, sending him tumbling onto the bed — his beanie and a cigarette lodged behind his ear falling onto the floor. The burglar allegedly shoved Keaton onto the floor and climbed on top of him. “He said if I screamed, he would kill me.” Keaton kept on struggling. “He started poking the screwdriver at me. I did not feel the stab wounds until afterwards, it must have been the adrenaline,” Keaton said.

The slight teenager said he headbutted his attacker and kicked him off, but he was pushed back onto the floor — this time with his face to the ground.

The burglar allegedly tried to stab Keaton in the neck but the quick-thinking teen managed to grab the weapon away.

“When he could not get the screwdriver away from me, he said it was okay because he had other things in his packet that he could kill me with. But when he tried to get the packet, it tore open and the contents scattered. Then, he bit me,” an incredulous Keaton said.

In agony, Keaton succeeded in fending off his attacker, who dashed into the kitchen where he armed himself with a chair.

The scuffle broke out again, but the boot was now firmly on the other foot.

“I reached into the drawer to get a knife, but I ended up pulling out a fork. He hit me with the chair a few times, but I managed to disarm him.

“Then he blocked the front door, saying I would not be able to escape, but I kicked him and ran out,” the teenager said.

“He tried to stab me more than 40 times, but only got about 15 shots in. I have wounds on my arms, legs, hands, neck and back.”

Second robbery

Keaton’s attacker then casually walked down the road empty-handed and escaped into a neighbouring property where he grabbed a handbag through an open window.

Speaking to The Witness on Wednesday, the tenant at the property, who asked not to be named, said she tried to grab the handbag away from the man, but she was overpowered.

“I let go of the bag because my grandson was crying. I am still very shaken up,” the woman said.

Members of the Belfort community, including housewives in the area, all mobilised in an effort to hunt down the attacker in a large forest area.

“We want to thank our neighbours and other residents from nearby neighbourhoods who all got together immediately to find the man.

“They followed him through the bushes and gave the police an accurate description of where he was heading and what he was wearing,” said Keaton’s father, Melvyn.

“My faith in the police has also been restored. One K9 unit officer parked on our road and traversed through the bushes, hitching a lift in a neighbour’s bakkie even, before tracking the burglar to the informal settlement kilometres away.”

The man was tackled by a police dog and is currently under arrest at a local hospital.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said a third case was also reported in the vicinity around the same time of the attack.

She said the police arrested a 23-year-old suspect.

It is unclear whether the man is linked to the third case.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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