Things just didn't pan out for whoever invaded 81-year-old Bobby Smith's Jacksonville home last Saturday afternoon. In fact, you might say the robber got the point - literally - after the Korean War Navy veteran was through with him. Smith and his caregiver used a pan full of fried potatoes and a pitchfork to drive the attacker away. Smith said he wasn't scared. "I was angry; I was upset; and I was as mad as all outdoors,"
Smith said. "If I'd had my gun, like I normally would have, I would have shot him because he was in my home. I don't like people hurting my family or my home." Smith was working in the garden of his longtime home on Phoenix Avenue about 11 a.m. when his 65-year-old caretaker, Luvina Sones, ran out and said someone at was in the house. Smith walked into the kitchen and found a man next to the stove with a plastic bag with Smith's "JEA money" and the couple's ID cards in one hand, a gun in the other.
The man told Smith to "gimme what you got" before shoving him to the ground and taking his wallet, according to the police report. That didn't stop Smith, who said he "went back after him." He grabbed the nearest weapon, while Sones grabbed for something else to give him. "I grabbed the frying pan and hit him upside the head. I knocked his teeth out ... and he went to the floor," Smith said. "There was a pitchfork about six feet away. ... I stuck him."
Hit in the head and stuck in the side, the intruder ran, "bleeding on the way out." He left his white baseball cap behind. Police searched the area, and the K-9 dog ultimately returned with a gift. "The cop brought the K-9 back to the porch, and the dog had the wallet in his mouth," Smith said. "He bowed. The dog bowed." Smith said an officer told him he'd never seen anyone fight someone with "a pitchfork and a pan of potatoes."