Intruder tangles with retired elite soldierRudi who fought off a home invader looks through the smashed front door of his Klemzig house.
Sunday Mail (SA)
June 13, 2010 12:32AM
A FORMER special forces soldier in his 50s has told how he fought off an intruder half his age during a home invasion.
No points for guessing who won the day.
Fifty-six-year-old Rudi, who declined to give his last name, said he was "scared" when he and his wife were woken by the sound of breaking glass, then found a man standing outside the bedroom door of their Klemzig home about 11 o'clock on Friday night.
But instinct kicked in and the former Hungarian soldier, now a furniture removalist, tackled the stranger to the ground - only to discover it was someone known to him. "The house was dark and he was wearing a beanie and had something in his hand," Rudi said yesterday.
"Of course I was scared, but I'd had military training in Hungary so I grabbed him around the throat and threw him to the floor then took his beanie off."
The man, a 27-year-old who police said appeared intoxicated, was bleeding profusely from cuts he suffered after smashing his way through the glass front door of the Whitbread Ave house.
Rudi, who still does weight training, said he asked the man: "What are you doing" before telling him to "cool down".
"He then said, `All right ... I'm sorry'."
Rudi released his grip on the man who asked to wash the blood from his face in the bathroom.
"I told him not to make any more trouble, but after washing his face he targeted me again and tried to grab me," Rudi said.
"So I pushed him off and he ran to the lounge.
"My wife was desperately phoning police for help and he grabbed her and they both fell down, so I grabbed him off her and held him down."
Despite the threat to his wife, Rudi said he remained calm and focused.
"He was throwing punches at me so I used a self-defence technique that I had learned in the army," he said.
"I put my elbow on the back of his neck and forced him down to the ground (face first). He had a lot of energy because of the adrenalin and tried to resist.
"He was kicking a bit but I managed to keep him down until the police arrived about eight minutes later.
"I was defending my house and defending my wife, and if the police didn't come I could have killed him."
Rudi described the intruder as "very skinny".
The series of struggles across the house left blood splattered in the bathroom, passage and on the lounge rug, sofa and the walls.
Rudi, who fled the communist regime in Hungary in 1978, said the man had worked for him on a casual basis for about four years.
With removal work coming in on an irregular basis, Rudi said he kept in shape by working out on his home weights gym.
Police arrested the man and have charged him with breaking into the house and assault. He was refused bail and will appear in the Holden Hill Magistrates Court on Tuesday. He was treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for lacerations.
Rudi and his wife were not injured.
He said the bill for damage to the glass front door and side panels was estimated at between $400 and $500.Intruder tangles with retired elite soldier | Herald Sun
Just as well he knew a thing or two to defend himself and his wife...