A 38-year-old disabled man was bound and beaten by at least three men who broke into his house Monday, minutes after they knocked on the victim’s front door and received no answer, police said Tuesday.
Wilson Suh, who has polio and lives with his parents, startled the men by swinging a crippled arm at one of the robbers inside the Banana Street home.
“He gave him a bloody nose,” Suh’s father, Elan Suh, said Tuesday. “But then they all ganged up on him and hurt him bad. It was over.”
The men hogtied Suh with telephone cords, broke two of his ribs, covered his head with a blanket and rolled him into a corner. At one point, one of the men pushed a knife into his side and threatened to kill him if he moved.
“It was a nightmare for him,” said Navara Suh, nervously touching her son’s hand. “None of us can get any sleep anymore.”
Navara Suh said she and her husband returned home from a morning workout about 11:30 a.m. and were alarmed to find the garage and sliding glass doors open.
But it wasn’t until the couple went upstairs and stumbled over broken furniture and toppled drawers that they realized their son was in trouble. Horrified, they found him in a corner at the end of the hallway, squirming under a bedspread.
“He wasn’t crying, but he was very upset,” Elan Suh said. “We were more frightened than he was, and today he’s just mad.”
Listening to his father, Wilson Suh gestured angrily with his hands.
“Mad,” he repeated. “Mad, mad.” Suh’s disability, which restricts his speech and prevents him from walking without difficulty, is often mistaken for drunkenness, his mother said.
“He understands everything and he knows exactly what happened here,” she said. “It’s just even more upsetting that they would be so violent and react so viciously towards him. They were just so cruel.”
The robbers ransacked the two-story house, breaking closet shelves and knocking pictures off the walls, before taking off with at least $4,000 in jewelry, including Elan Suh’s wedding ring and two Rolex watches.
Another $300 in cash was swiped from Suh’s wallet. The men also stole an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and a cable box for the TV.
Police suspected the job was rushed after the men encountered Suh. They scoured the home Monday for fingerprints but said the robbers wore socks on their hands and left few clues behind. Tire marks in front of the house supported Suh’s statement that he heard doors slamming and a car speed away immediately after the men left, police said. Suh’s parents returned home minutes later.
“They were all pretty lucky when you think of what could have happened,” Sgt. Jim Perry said. “As terrible as it was, it could have been much worse.”
Police said the robbers spoke Vietnamese and are in their early 20s. One is about 5 feet 8 inches tall, thin, with combed-back, black straight hair. He wore a white T-shirt and black pants. A second robber is 5 feet 8 inches tall, muscular, with black hair. He wore a dark T-shirt. The third was heard but not seen, police said. Authorities intend to release a composite sketch of them today.
Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the Fountain Valley Police Department: (714) 965-4485.