Man enters wrong home with own key, beats neighbor, believing him to be an intruder, police

A guy in Texas is accused of beating up and hospitalizing his elderly neighbor after reportedly using his own house key to accidentally unlock and enter the older man’s home, mistaking him for an intruder and attacking.

Eric Collazo was arrested on Monday and charged with one count of injury to an older person inflicting bodily harm, according to court records examined by Law&Crime.

According to an incident report acquired by The News Tribune, at around 1:25 a.m. on March 25, deputies from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office responded to a complaint about a burglary in progress at a residence in the 6000 block of Carriage Cape in San Antonio, Texas. Upon arrival, deputies stated that the home invasion appeared to be the product of an unusual accident.

Deputies observed that the victim’s front door was undamaged.

Deputies entered the property and discovered the man, who is apparently 79 or 80 years old, hobbling with shredded clothing and food from a local Tex-Mex restaurant covering him and the apartment floor.

The victim told authorities that he was in the bathroom when he heard a knock on the door and that a tall man dressed in black — later identified as Collazo — entered the house and attacked him, pushing him into his bathtub and repeatedly striking him with a closed fist, according to San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT.

The man was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, which allegedly included three broken ribs.

A cellphone that did not belong to the victim was apparently retrieved from inside the victim’s toilet, and investigators believe it belonged to Collazo, who was at a neighbor’s home. He was attempting to get into a parked car, according to KSAT.

Collazo allegedly told deputies that he thought he was entering his own home—even using his own key to unlock the front door—and that the victim was a home invader, so he attacked him.

“I don’t play around,” Collazo reportedly told authorities.

Deputies also reported that Collazo had a “strong smell of alcoholic beverages” throughout the interview, according to the Tribune.

Deputies investigating Collazo’s story took his key and attempted to use it at the victim’s front door. To their surprise, the key apparently worked.

“When deputies checked the suspect’s key to see if it could open the victim’s door, the key did indeed work,” Johnny Garcia, a BCSO public relations officer, told KSAT. “It is unknown as to how the key works at the victim’s residence, however, investigators believe the issue may be related to the builder of the residences.”

M/I Homes, the firm that supposedly built both homes, told KSAT that they would investigate the matter of one key functioning in two residences and report back to the station at a later date.

Collazo was taken into Bexar County Jail and released on Thursday after posting a $10,000 bond and being told not to contact the victim. He is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on May 1, 2024.

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