Elderly man beaten during West Pullman home invasion

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Lezel Holt Sr. was beatened in his Far South Side home during a home invasion. (WLS)

A 78-year-old man is hospitalized in serious condition Sunday after someone beat him in his Far South Side home.

The home invasion occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the 12100-block of South Princeton Avenue in the West Pullman neighborhood.

"He's old, couldn't defend himself," said the victim's grandson, Lezel Holt. "He's a quiet guy and didn't deserve that."

He said he is struggling to understand the vicious beating.

Lezel Holt Sr., a retired pastor who lives alone, told investigators that he heard someone he thought he knew knock at his front door.

Holt Sr. opened the door and an unknown attacker forced his way in, hitting him in the head with a gun and then handcuffed him.

"After they handcuffed him with the butt of the gun, they continued to beat him until he was unconscious," his grandson said.

The robber ransacked the house before leaving Holt for dead. Relatives said after about an hour, Holt regained consciousness and was crawled -- still handcuffed -- to a neighbor's house for help.

"This is a shock to everyone around here," said neighbor Charles Hill.

At the Unity Fellowship Church, where Holt Sr.'s grandson is musical director, those just learning of the attack offered prayers for healing as the pastor condemned the violence.

"There is no excuse for such behavior," Bishop Walter Harris told parishioners at Unity Fellowship Church.

Holt Sr. suffered severe damage to his face and eyes, which his family said will require reconstructive surgery.

The family said they just want justice.

"I don't think it was random. I think he was targeted, maybe for his age, so that's why I'm letting everyone in that neighborhood know."

Police are investigating and no one was in custody Sunday evening.
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