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A Long Beach couple were home Wednesday when intruders burst in, beat them and attempted to tie them up. In an exclusive interview with NBC4’s Hetty Chang the couple recount their fight to survive. Hetty Chang reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.
A couple was hospitalized after a violent robbery in their Long Beach home Wednesday, and had it not been for the martial arts background of the husband, the couple said they may not have survived.
"I was in my bedroom getting ready for work," said the woman, who did not want to be publicly identified. "All of a sudden, some guy comes in my bedroom with a gun pointed to my head."
Officers responded about 12:30 p.m. to reports of a robbery in the 3100 block of Shadypark Drive, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
Two gunmen came in through the front door that was left cracked open after the couple had gone for the walk, according to the husband. Blood stains and the rustled pine leaves of their Christmas tree had still been on their living room floor Thursday.
"I was down on the ground and they started to kicking and pistol whipping me in the back of the head," said the man, who learned martial arts as a child. "They had us both on the ground. While one was ransacking the bedrooms for jewelry and money, the other one couldn't locate any tape or rope, so he started to cut the cords to tie us up."
It was at that moment, the husband said, instinct kicked in.
"I heard him cutting one of the lamp cords, and that indicated he had to use both hands, so when I heard that, that's when I jumped up, picked up a pair of shears that we had just pruned the tree with and I went to stab him in the throat and he moved."
"I went to flip him. I was trained in judo."
His wife was still bound with electric cords, when the man managed to get to the front porch where he said the struggle with the men continued. He pulled down the pants of one burglar to try to trip him, said the husband, before the two men fled in a waiting car.
Witnesses said that two robbers ran to a waiting newer-model silver Toyota Corolla and fled the area.
“They were shouting and they were in a hurry,” said witness Robert Driml. “I knew they weren’t from this neighborhood.”
The couple said this is the third time the couple has been burglarized since living in the home. Police are continuing their investigation. No arrests have been made in connection with the robbery.
Long Beach City Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske issued a statement saying that the number of sworn officers is down 20 percent due to budget cuts, and that the decrease in service could be felt.
“These are brazen suspects to have broken into a home in broad daylight and attacked an elderly couple in order to rob them,” Schipske said. “I hope the couple recovers quickly from this heinous crime.”