An Illinois man is in the Collier County Jail after he was accused of beating an elderly man who was protecting his own property.
It was a scene that unfolded early Sunday morning. It happened in the 1000 block of South Collier Boulevard on Marco Island just before 5 a.m.
Barney Halaschak never expected to spend Father’s Day the way he did.
“I had a hard time believing it,” he said.
The 79-year-old grandfather was fast asleep early Sunday morning when he was woken up by noises coming from outside his Marco Island condo.
When he looked outside, he spotted a young man pulling his kayak off the roof of his car.
“I said ‘you’re trying to steal my kayak.’ And he goes, ‘No, that’s my kayak,'” Halaschak said.
That’s when Halaschak woke up his 52-year-old son who was visiting for Father’s Day and the two of them grabbed Halaschak’s shotgun and went outside, hoping to scare the accused thief off.
“We just came down and walked toward him and said ‘please leave. Get out of here.’ And he went berserk,” Halaschak said. “So he just grabbed the gun, broke it against the wall, and then smacked me. That’s when I got whacked here on the head.”
Halaschak says the thief hit him with the shotgun at least two times, then turned on his son.
“He was swinging it like a bat. Like a baseball bat,” Halaschak said.
Marco police say the suspect—25-year-old Jacob Johannesen—then took off running and hid in a nearby bush where he was eventually arrested after a violent struggle with authorities.
Halaschak suffered only minor injuries but says the incident cost him his peace of mind.
“It’s just upsetting,” he said.
Johannesen is being held at the Collier County Jail on $19,000 bond. He’s facing multiple charges, including battery on a senior citizen.