DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Now 91 years old, William Koeckert says he had a violent encounter with a man accused in a Mr. Hero shooting back when Koeckert was a spry 84.
"I guess they never expected somebody at my advanced age to give them a battle," he said.
The older gentleman explained Daveion Perry and another male asked to use his phone late one night seven years ago. When he wouldn't let them in, he said they came back around midnight, broke into his home, stole his pistol and beat him with it.
"The pistol broke open and shells in the cylinder all fell out," Koeckert said.
What Perry didn't know is that Mr. Koeckert is a retired Army major, who fought in World War II. He has a scar on the top of his head, but it is from cancer surgery, not the attack.
The criminal felony charge Perry now faces stems from the shooting death of Sunny Patel, 15, last Friday night as Patel worked in his family's business, Mr. Hero, in Cleveland Heights. A manhunt lead to the arrest of Perry as he was leaving a local store in Cleveland Heights on Sunday. A picture police put out helped to identify the man.
As for Koeckert the night Perry attacked him, he says he was literally fighting for his life. All three people involved in that struggle left some blood on the floor of Koeckert's living and dining rooms. The two burglars were sent to juvenile detention.
Police say Perry turned in a career criminal now accused of murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of felonious assault. He is being held on a $1 million bond.
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