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81-year-old man victim of a robbery in Hazle Township

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HAZLE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s a crime that has people talking, the attack and robbery of an 81-year-old man in Luzerne County.

We are learning more about the crime from the victim himself. Hazle Township Boulevard is where the attack occurred. He has quite the story to tell. A story of survival.

“I was going for a walk. I went down around the curve. I see this kid on the other side of the road on a bike riding around in circles,” the victim said.

And this 81-year-old, who Eyewitness News is not identifying for safety reasons, and who is a former law enforcement officer, figured he better keep an eye on him. The suspect then approached him.

“I told him to be careful because of the way cars drive out here. He mumbled a little, turned around went back the way. I can’t. I’m watching him go I figured he’s out of sight I’m in good shape,” the victim said.

The next thing he knows he was being attacked.

“I’m walking up the road and boom I’m down on the ground. I don’t know what he hit me with. I think a rock, that’s the only thing that’s out there,” he said.

He says the attacker came at him again.

“I’m on the ground. Not out. I was down but not out. I’m trying to get up. Suddenly he came at me with a knife. This guy’s nuts right?” the victim said.

He says he knew he had to keep fighting.

“I laid on the ground. I’m kicking, trying to get him so he can’t get me. He finally gets my wallet and my phone and takes off,” the man said.

A person driving by shortly after the attack stopped and called 911. He went to the hospital and was treated for a head injury.

He was able to get his phone back when his grandson, who lives in Arizona, used a locator app on his cellphone. The same app he shares with his grandfather to track the phone.

“2,500 hundred miles away. He did it,” the victim said. “They went out there looking for the phone. It showed here in the woods.”

But his wallet was nowhere to be found.

When asked if he thought his law enforcement background helped him get through the attack, the man replied: “No. I really don’t think so. I think if somebody clobbers you’re going to react to it.”

He says that state troopers told him they have a suspect in custody and they tracked him when they recovered his cell phone. But at this point, it appears the suspect has not been charged in connection with the attack and robbery.

Criminal arrest affidavits have not been filed and state police tell Eyewitness News they can’t comment on the investigation at this point in time.

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