Well-known Visalia barber injured in home invasion

FRESNO, Calif.

Carl Richey suffered head trauma when Visalia police say -- a man armed with a gun forced his way into his apartment and beat him up before stealing cash.

Neighbors say Carl Richey is a great person who has even been known to give free haircuts to neighbors. Everyone in the area knows he owns a barber shop and has cash at home. That's why neighbors believe he was targeted.

Visalia police say a 64-year-old man opened his apartment door to a young man he assumed was soliciting something. He was handed a brochure before the man left. But moments later, investigators say the same man returned, with demands and a gun.

Visalia Police Sergeant, Paul Esquibel said, "When the victim came back to the door, the suspect did force his way in and did assault the victim."

Carl Richey was pistol whipped and suffered trauma to the head and chest before family members say the suspect tried to tie him up. Police say the suspect grabbed cash then left.

Stunned neighbors say they saw Richey's face was swollen as he was taken away in an ambulance.

"I wanted to hurt the guy that did it, cause he's my best friend, you know? I had kinda like tears in my eyes when I seen him," said Benny Vasquez. "I hope they catch the guy, if they don't somebody's gonna get him."

Police say home invasions like this are unusual. Richey lives in a complex where neighbors are steps away, there's a fair amount of traffic and someone always seems to be walking around or outside. One neighbor says she's lived in the complex just a few months and is worried about escalating crime.

Amanda Chaves said, "When we first moved in, we got our house broken into, we were only here for three weeks, and then we heard a week later our neighbor's house got broken into, and then a month before we moved in, our other neighbors got broken into."

Visalia police say Richey did the right thing by complying with the armed man, instead of trying to fight back.

Thursday afternoon, Richey's barber shop re-opened for business, but Carl Richey's chair is empty, he is in a hospital bed, for now.

Richey got a good description of the suspect, who was not wearing any disguise. Several neighbors in the area also told me they saw the suspect hanging around the complex shortly before the robbery.

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