Del. man fights off home invaders

June 17, 2009 9:07:21 PM PDT
Daniel Conner is the first to admit that his own lack of caution put him at great risk. At the same time, he gave a pair of bandits a good deal more than they bargained for.

"They could have killed me. I believe they would have killed me," Conner said.

The 58-year-old homeowner survived an attack by would-be invaders Monday night at 11:00 at his home on Linden Street in Wilmington. Conner was home alone after his stepson left momentarily with a friend.

That's when Conner heard a knock at the door.

"I just naturally assumed it was one of my son's friends coming to the door loooking for him," said Conner.

Some would-be home invaders tried to get inside, but Conner fought back.

"I panicked, my adrenaline went crazy and I attacked back. I don't think they expected that," Conner said.

Conner somehow managed to run outside and call for help, and his attackers took off.

Police say Conner's first mistake was opening the door to two teenage strangers, and not turning on his lights.

"Keep your doors and windows locked at all times, and even if you see anybody suspicious in the neighborhood, give us a call and maybe a passing patrol car in the area can catch up to these people," said Master Sgt. Steven Barnes of the Wilmington Police.

Police say there's no indication the attackers are linked to Conner's college-bound stepson, nor do they suspect the beating was racially motivated because Conner is white and his stepson is black.

Instead, investigators say the attackers could have been after someone else, but picked the wrong home. Or, they were would-be home invaders who underestimated Conner's strength.

Now, while police have put out a reverse 911 recording warning neighbors to take precautions, Conner has a warning of his own.

"Be careful, be very, very careful. You never know who's coming to your door."

Police say they hope it's just a matter of time before the suspects are caught because they left several fingerprints behind.

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