ALFORD -- The Wise County Sheriff's Office is hoping video from a security camera inside a home will help identify three men who broke into a house and assaulted the owner last week.
It all starts with a kick at a side door of a home on South Wickham Street at 3:33 a.m. September 16 in the small rural community of Alvord. Suddenly, three masked men rush in, one after the other.
The men head straight for the bedroom where the victim is asleep -- only his two dogs are fully alert. Wise County Sheriff David Walker said he thinks the men were not expecting the victim to try and defend himself when faced with three intruders.
Walker said the homeowner had the cameras installed when he was renting out rooms in his house and wanted to ward off theft.
"I don't think they were planning on the victim fighting back," Walker said. "That probably spooked them."
As the men storm in the bedroom, one of them is seen try to subdue the startled victim, who begins to wage the fight of his life. He begins pummeling the man in his own bed. The victim, legs and arms flailing frantically, tries to fight off the attacker.
As the fight intensifies, in the right corner of the screen, one of the other intruders can be seen picking up a chair and hitting the victim with it before sending it flying across the bed.
The terrifying attack is mostly off-screen by now, but the victim continues to struggle. Feathers from the bed pillows are flying. The ordeal lasts less than 20 seconds total.
By the time the men finally retreat, the first intruders mask has been ripped from his face. As he runs away, he glances unknowingly into the camera.
They escape mostly unharmed, but leaving police vital evidence to go on.
Walker said it was a bold, violent attack where things could have played out much differently.
"If they had broken into someone's home who actually had a firearm, it very well could have been lights out for these three gentleman," Walker said.
The sheriff said there have only been two other home invasions in Wise County this year. They've been solved, and were instances where the victim knew the culprits.
In this case, Walker said the victim did not know his attackers, but investigators don't think the break-in was random.
If you have information about this burglary or think you recognize anyone in the video, you're asked to contact Sergeant Jim Rodgers at 940.627.5971, Ext. 244.