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Injured intruder sought after break-in
Man surprises, beats suspect
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A tracking dog follows a trail as deputies search for a man suspected of breaking in to a nearby home. - photo by Jim Dean

It appears the only thing successfully broken into during a recent break-in was the suspect.

Eric Roderick said the man he found inside his home Thursday off Pilgrim Mill Road left with nothing but a “whoopin.”

“I heard the sound of tools dropping in my basement," Roderick said. "I thought it was my dogs, so instead of getting a gun, I just went downstairs.

"I picked up a jack handle that was in my basement ... he lunged at me and I just pretty much beat him half to death with the bar.”

Roderick said he acted in self-defense, noting the suspect, who later escaped, outweighed him by about 60 pounds.

“It was pretty much instinct. I didn’t really have any time,” he said. “I just started swinging. It’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”

Authorities are still investigating the incident following an unsuccessful search that lasted several hours after Roderick called the authorities.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said deputies used dogs to search the area near the home.

The suspect’s possible injuries to his arm, ribs and head could help in the investigation, Huggins said.

“If he was injured, he would probably end up seeking medical treatment," he said. "We might be able to apprehend him that way. We’re checking in with hospitals. You never know.”

The suspect, described by Roderick as a 5’10” man with a moustache and soul patch, was wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt and heavy winter gloves.

Roderick said he thinks someone else may have been with the suspect, who disappeared when Roderick went upstairs to call the authorities.

“I don’t know if he would have been able to pick himself up off the ground," he said. "That’s the only thing that makes me think he wasn’t alone.”

Roderick said it was a fluke he was even home at the time. He returned only because he “forgot a pack of smokes.”

Though he now sleeps with guns nearby, Roderick said he is strongly considering moving. He's grateful his family was not home at the time.