81-Year-Old Man, Wife Catch Home Intruder in Indiana

An 81-year-old man and his 76-year-old wife managed to detain an intruder who broke into their northwest Indiana home in the middle of the night and held him until officers arrived.

Richard and Sharon Hoffman, of LaPorte, were in bed when someone started pounding on their front door just after midnight Wednesday.

"Someone was banging on the door like it was coming down," Sharon Hoffman recalled.

She got out of bed and cracked the door open, but a man forced his way in, knocking her to the ground.

The intruder, identified by investigators as 53-year-old Tim Harmon, ran toward the bedrooms, yelling that someone was trying to kill him, according to the Hoffmans' account. At one point, he tripped and fell onto a piece of furniture.

Investigators believe Harmon had also broken into two other homes nearby.

As Sharon Hoffman called 911, her husband, who stands 6 feet 2 inches tall, pinned the suspect down by the shoulders.

"In my mind, I know I could hold him," Richard Hoffman said, later adding, "I grabbed his right hand, and he kept trying to get up and I kept holding him down there."

The intruder tried to break free as officers pulled up to the home. Sharon Hoffman said she held onto one of his arms to keep him down.

"You don't expect something like that out of a senior citizen," said Capt. Michael Kellems of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department. "Two or three minutes of wrestling around with someone that's going through some type of an episode that has led them to break into three different homes, that's a lot of wherewithal."

The couple was not seriously injured during the ordeal. 

"No big deal for me; I'm not that weak," Richard said.

Harmon was arrested and charged with residential entry, criminal mischief and battery, according to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department. Information on an attorney for Harmon was not immediately available.

Kellems told The Times of Northwest Indiana he didn't know if the man was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or had psychological issues.

"We've lived here for 50 some years and I've never had an experience like this," Sharon told The Times.

Editor's Note: Police have listed Harmon's age as 53, not 54, as mentioned in the above video.

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