Elderly Fresno County man confronts armed robbers

FRESNO, Calif.

The break-in happened Thursday night just before nine o'clock on Highland near Nebraska, just outside Selma.

The victim is 73-years-old and gave very detailed descriptions of the suspects to sheriff's investigators. He escaped with minor injuries but the suspects got away with his gun.

"I raised my gun and I said what the hell are you doing here," said Manuel Noyola. "Who are you guys."

Manuel Noyola's german shepherd gave him the first clue something was going on outside his rural home, so he went to investigate.

"I was not expecting to see people, I was expecting to see a coyote or some other red," said Noyola. "But they surprised me and I surprised them when I pulled my gun and pointed it at them, they pointed something at me."

The 73-year-old found himself face to face with two masked men he estimates were in their 20's.

"They came around right there, and I came around right here," said Noyola. "And this is where we meet right here and this is where I had my first blow."

Noyola asked the thieves what they wanted before his rifle was in their hands. That's when the only bullet in the gun discharged- luckily, no one was hurt.

"Even though they had my gun," said Noyola. "I went and hit him right here up waist."

Noyola's son was both thankful and upset.

"They didn't need to rough him up," said Wally Noyola. "They wrestled on the ground, they punched him once, and it bothers me. They didn't need to do that."

Noyola thinks the thieves were waiting to rob a taco truck next to his home, when he startled them as they pondered the perfect moment to make their move. He assumes, at that point, they decided to pursue him.

"They said we want money and I said maybe I got a 20 dollar bill," said Noyola. "Well let me have your wallet I don't have my wallet, it's inside."

They followed him inside, grabbed his wallet and threw one more punch the quick thinking senior managed to dodge.

The retired bar owner relies on social security and works on appliances to earn extra cash. He says he's not a violent man, but also not a coward.

"It gets scary and a lot of tension you have to do what you have to do to save your life and maybe I did."

Sheriff's investigators say Noyola did the right thing by complying with the robbers. Despite the scary confrontation, the victim says he enjoys his independence and doesn't want to move, at least until he is older.

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