Cops: Burglar Beaten With Barbed Wire Bat

Intruder, homeowner both face multiple felonies

View Document

Burglar Battered

MAY 31--After his Minnesota home was burglarized last month, Blaze Smith anticipated that the intruder would return, so he left a window open and sat in wait, armed with a baseball bat that was wrapped in barbed wire and studded with screws and nails.

The day after the April 15 break-in, cops charge, Aldo Gomez, 35, returned to Smith’s residence at the Eastwood Manor Mobile Home Park in Mankato and climbed through the same window he had illegally entered the day before.

But when Gomez got inside the home around 9 PM, he was confronted by the 28-year-old Smith. Gomez fled the residence with Smith in pursuit.

Outside the mobile home, surveillance video captured Smith “chasing and repeatedly hitting [Gomez] on the back of his head with a baseball bat.” A police commander noted that the bat “was wrapped in barbed wire and had screws and nails in it.”

The blows left Gomez with a fractured skull, according to a court filing.

When cops arrived at Smith’s residence in response to a burglary in progress 911 call, Gomez was sitting in the front yard bleeding. Gomez, who lives a block from Smith at the mobile home park, was subsequently taken by ambulance to a hospital. While being treated, Gomez reportedly admitted to burglarizing Smith’s home on April 15 and returning the next day to “take more items.” 

Gomez was arrested on a pair of felony burglary counts, one of which carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

When questioned about the violent confrontation, Smith told police that after he reviewed his security camera footage following the initial break-in, he “knew it was Gomez from his build and the way he walks.” Smith, cops noted, “knows Gomez from prior interactions.”

But instead of contacting police, Smith, bat in hand, waited for his neighbor to return.

While surveillance video recorded Smith clobbering Gomez after he left the residence, Smith reportedly told cops that he only hit Gomez while the burglar was inside his home. Smith claimed he struck Gomez with the bat “only four times.”

Seen above, Smith was charged last week with a pair of felony assault with a dangerous weapon counts. The top charge carries a maximum 10-year prison term.

In a Facebook post last year, Smith tipped his followers to a recent theft at the mobile home park. Smith uploaded surveillance video of a man who “stole my neighbors lawnmower.” The thief, he noted, “walks with a very distinct hobble.” (2 pages)