PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are looking for leads in a violent New Year’s Eve home invasion that left an 83-year-old man fighting for his life.
“That could have been my parent, and I would want something done,” said Lt. Robert Brockenbrough of East Detectives.
It happened on Dec. 31, sometime after 9:30 p.m., on the 3900 block of Fairhill Street in Hunting Park. Mauricio Gesmundo’s daughter and son-in-law discovered his bloodied body when they returned home at 3 a.m.
“He was bound and gagged,” Brockenbrough said. “He did receive what appeared to be several strikes from either a fist or a blunt object.”
Police said the house showed no signs of forced entry but had been ransacked.
“Several individuals, we don’t know how many actually, came into the house and a safe was taken from the house, which contained cash and various documents,” Brockenbrough said.
Investigators can’t say for sure at this point if the house was targeted, but they believe this was an isolated incident and not a pattern happening in the neighborhood.
Speaking first to Eyewitness News on Saturday, the victim’s son, Geo Gesmundo, said his father remains at Temple University Hospital’s ICU with brain bleeds. Investigators have not yet been able to interview him.
“I just don’t understand how anyone can do this to any human being, let alone an 83-year-old,” Gesmundo said. “If there’s anyone on my dad’s street that witnessed anything, we’re just hoping someone can speak up.”
If you have information or surveillance video that might help investigators, you’re asked to call the PPD tip line at (215) 686-TIPS (8477).
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