92-year-old WWII veteran scares off ax-wielding would-be burglar, authorities say


A 92-year-old homeowner armed with a handgun fired a shot and scared off an ax-wielding man trying to break into his San Jacinto residence Sunday, authorities said.

World War II veteran Joseph Milspaugh told KNBC-TV he heard a noise coming from his backdoor and quickly armed himself with his handgun. When he went to investigate he saw a man smashing an ax through one of his windows.

“I let off a shot and he took off,” Milspaugh told the news station with a laugh. “He left his ax. He left his hat and everything else after that.”


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The incident occurred around 11 a.m., in the 1400 block of Chase Street, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

“As the homeowner approached the door, he suddenly saw an exterior glass window of the home shatter, followed by the suspect attempting to crawl into his home through the window,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Milspaugh told KCBS-TV he had a clear shot, but decided not to fire directly at the intruder.

“I didn’t want to do that,” he told the station. “I’d be in trouble.”

Sheriff’s officials are now looking for the would-be burglar.

Anyone with details about the burglary is urged to call San Jacinto Police Department at (951) 654-2702.

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