OAKLAND, Calif. - A private security guard was attacked by burglary suspects in Oakland after they caught him recording them with his phone.
Alex Igbineweka, 72, was in pain Friday as both his hand were left broken after the attack.
"They all came and rush at me, fighting me like angry lions," said Igbineweka with both his hands in casts.
"I recorded the car and everything on the cell phone. But then they took the phone away," he recalled.
A neighbor, who wanted to be identified only as Brian, found the guard lying on the ground.
Brian said the assailants "came up, confiscated his phone, smashed it, beat him up. He was on the ground, and he was disoriented and there was nothing I could do except, you know, we were calling 911."
It happened Wednesday afternoon outside a vacant home on Leimert Boulevard in Oakland's Oakmore neighborhood. Igbineweka said he saw the men on the property and told them they were trespassing. He also told them he was calling the police.
"They punched me, used whatever they had at their disposal to fight me," said Igbineweka.
The attackers even used a leaf blower to hit him in the face.
The three took off in a stolen Hyundai Elantra, which was later found abandoned.
Brian is angry that a man hired to protect his neighborhood was himself victimized.
"He’s not someone who can fight back, and there were three of them," he said.
His wife Amanda said her heart goes out to the guard.
"We’re so sad he had to go through this. He’s 72 years old, you know? It’s so ruthless," she said. "He’s very sweet, kind and obviously very courageous, and he tries to protect us."
Oakland City Councilmember Janani Ramachandran says the assault is actively under investigation.
"I am firmly committed to partnering with OPD however that I can to make sure these folks are brought to justice. This is tragic," she said.
Igbineweka had this message for his attackers: "Stop this kind of vandalism and live for something meaningful. He added, "It's not good. It's not good for themselves, it's not good to the society, it's not good to the neighborhood."