January 14, 2016

#ATTACK: Attacked couple fight back side by side in an attempt to save their lives from 4 black attackers

Pietermaritzburg - Four attackers were in for a surprise when the elderly couple they attacked fought back in a fist-flying barrage of blows.


It was their 38-year bond of marriage that spurred Patrick Reynolds (76) and his wife, Heather (64), to fight off the four brazen robbers side by side in an attempt to save their lives.
But the courageous couple were not left unscathed by the attack — they ­received seven stitches each to treat the open gashes on their heads.
The pair founded the God’s Golden Acre children’s home at their home in Killarney Valley in the Cato Ridge area 24 years ago, and have since been ­internationally recognised for their ­efforts in community welfare.
The attack, which happened just after midnight yesterday morning, is one of almost a dozen in the Killarney Valley area since the beginning of the year.
Yesterday The Witness reported that the couple’s son, Brendan, and his ­family were attacked in their home a few kilometres away. Brendan was bludgeoned with a cricket bat and held at gunpoint, while his wife and two ­children were left unharmed.
Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Patrick and Heather — whose heads were wrapped in bandages — said they were thankful to be alive and pleased they fought off the intruders who had managed to slip into the house without stirring any of their 10 dogs, four of which are boerboels.
Patrick said the attack happened after he had mistakenly left the house door open when he came in to get the keys for their offices.
While he was getting the keys from their bedroom, where his wife was sitting, the four men entered the house and confronted the couple.
“When we looked up they were ­suddenly behind us. All they said is that we must be quiet or they will shoot,” Heather said.
One of the men was armed with what they initially thought was a rifle — but which later was found to be an air gun — and the others brandished thick steel pipes.
The couple said the men were in their twenties and had not covered their ­faces.
Patrick tried to reach for a Taser in his pocket, but was instantly attacked by the gun-wielding robber, who struck him several times on the head with the butt of the rifle. “He dived at me and grabbed my arm. We started wrestling around and he started hitting me with the gun,” Patrick said.
Seeing her husband in distress, Heather snapped out of her frozen state of shock and stood up to find her ­whistle in an attempt to alert security guards stationed on the premises.
However, she was struck down with a pipe. “He hit me seven times on the head. I had to fight back,” Heather said.
“It felt like a dull explosion on my head and I could feel the blood pouring down. I felt faint, but I told myself to keep going and fight back.”
She reached for a spear kept behind her bed and thrust it towards her attackers. Two of the men came at her, trying to pry the spear from her hands.
“I must have had super strength,” Heather laughed.
“They could not get the spear from me. They had to drop their pipes to try harder.”
The spear eventually broke, and at that moment of despair, Heather said she looked up to see her husband beating his two assailants with the same gun they had attacked him with.
“This gave me the strength to keep fighting. I turned the spear around and used it as a stick to beat them. They had used the element of surprise to ­attack us, but I think we surprised them,” she said.
The men made a run for it, holding their hands over their heads to protect their faces. In the flurry, they made off with two cellphones and two laptops.
“We were really in life and death, hand-to-hand combat. People need to know you can fight back if attacked,” Patrick said.
The couple were taken to the ­Mediclinic Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, where their wounds were treated before they returned home yesterday.
Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said no arrests had been made thus far.
Heather appealed for assistance in replacing the stolen electronics, which were used for administrative purposes for the children’s home.
The couple can be contacted at 082 333 4887 or heather@gods­gold­enacre.org