An 87-year-old Clairemont man was beaten and robbed Wednesday in his own home.
Make no mistake about it. Paul Schmidt is one tough octogenarian. But even he thought better of taking on the three men who crashed through his front door announcing they were there to rob him just after 3 p.m.
Schmidt was injured -- he spent an hour in the emergency room getting treated for head and wrist wounds -- but his decision to stand down may have saved his life.
“It wouldn't be wise to be dead and I didn't know if they had guns or what,” he said. "What could I do? Maybe one or two guys I could handle, but three?"
Schmidt's biggest regret was that he could not stop the men, and he worries others may be at risk.
"Three guys is more than I could handle. I'm pretty old now. Eighty-seven. I ain't one of those crazy people anymore," he said.
When the home invasion happened Schmidt was putting together a ceiling fan.
"I had a scissors laying there. He grabbed the scissors and he threatened me with it. He said there is three of us and one of you and we're robbing you,” he remembered.
When they took his wallet, Schmidt resisted. He pulled hard on the beard of one man but paid a price.
"He started beating me and picked up those fan blades and hit my head, knocked me over on the couch,” he said.
The suspect injured Paul's wrists, arms and eye socket.
"He had to be higher than a kite. He had to be on some kind of drug or something,” Schmidt said.
After ransacking the house for 40 minutes, the three men got away with some $800 in cash, credit and bank cards, and bags full of other select items from the home, including newly purchased vests for Schmidt’s "Barbershop Harmony" group.
They also stole his 2007 maroon-colored Honda Ridgeline pickup truck.
Now, Schmidt is changing the locks and calling Wednesday’s incident a hard lesson learned.
"I've been thinking about putting up an alarm and cameras and I haven't done it. See what happens? We live in a different age now. You never know,” he said.
Schmidt has lived at the same address for 52 years. He raised seven children there and has 22 grandchildren, but this is the first time he’s ever been robbed.
He doesn't know why they chose his home. He lives with a roommate who was not home at the time. One of his sons lives next door but no one was home there either.
No arrests have been made.