Victim describes fighting off masked gunmen

October 13, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The men tried to rob Perry Pearce and his family in the 5700 block of South Ada Thursday morning.

Pearce says he always worked to make sure he and his family were safe. That security was threatened when the city Water Department worker wrestled a gun from two burglars forced their way into his house, shooting one of them.

While some of Pearce's neighbors call him a hero, the longtime Englewood resident says he just did what anyone would do the protect their family.

"I just thank God I'm alive," Pearce told ABC7.

A shaken and bruised Pearce tells how he and his family narrowly escaped death at the hands of two masked intruders.

"These guys came out of nowhere with a pistol to my head and knocked me to the ground," he said.

The 53-year-old was ambushed as he headed to work at 5 a.m. Thursday. Pearce says his attackers ignored his Rottweiler who was already chained up and hog-tied him before throwing him into the back of his SUV.

"They put a machete to my head and said to me they were going to cut my ears off. I say please, please don't kill me. I'll take you where the money is," said Pearce.

Once inside the Pearces' home, the gunmen forced his visiting sister and cousin to lay face down in the TV room.

"I was praying, God, I know you're with me. You're not going to see nothing bad happen to me," he said.

It was as one of the gunmen ransacked the Englewood homeowner's bedroom looking for a safe full of money that Pearce was able to pop his wrist restraints.

"That's when the other guy turned around to look to see where my sister and cousin was. This guy rested the gun down trying to pull my safe out. That's when I grabbed the gun," said Pearce.

One of the attackers tried to wrestle the gun away, but Pearce shot him. Both burglars then ran from the home. The wounded one collapsed a few blocks away.

Despite being battered and bruised, Pearce vows never to be afraid.

"I've been on this block for 25 years. I'm not going nowhere," he said.

Police say the wounded man was taken to the hospital. A second suspect is not in custody. Investigators are still reviewing security video footage from the seven security cameras Pearce has at his home.

No arrests or charges have been made so far in connection with the attack.

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