Man assaulted with pepper spray and robbed of bingo money

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

MIAMI TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A Miami Township man was brutally attacked with some sort of chemical pepper-spray, then robbed of money from the church bingo.

"Give me the money," said Bob Brookens of his instantaneous attack. "That's it, I have no knowledge, I don't see him coming, I see nothing."

Brookens told us he has had nightmares for days since the attack, re-playing the incident over and over in his head.

Miami Township Police have very few leads if any in this case. It happened Sunday at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Clermont County.

The perpetrator grabbed the cash and got away on-foot and detectives said there were no witnesses to the crime. And for Bob Brookens, who barely saw his attacker, he's just happy his eyes have mostly recovered from what was a vicious chemical attack.

"Give me the money, give me the money," Brookens said. Those are words he probably will not soon forget."And the gentleman just jumps right out, right there, and he's got his can of spray and reaches for the money, he says, 'give me the money'."

He was assaulted with pepper-spray at close range and then robbed.

"He stepped out and it's spraying at that time," Brookens said.

"The gentleman had the money from the evening's bingo, proceeds which were approximately $1,900.00 dollars," said Miami Township Detective Robert Bradford.

If you take a good look at Brookens, now calmer, hazel eyes, they're a far cry from Sunday night, where they were in a lot of pain.

"Give me the money," Brookens repeated. "I said a few choice words and I said 'no'," he laughed.

Detective Bradford gave this limited description of the suspect. "A white male, approximately 5'10" tall, in his mid-20's. He was wearing a blue hoodie and a red bandana that was covering his face."

And that is all Miami Township police have to go on so far.

Detective Bradford said it's tough to know how long this crime could have been calculated.

There are two large, brown dumpsters behind the school cafeteria, where bingo is held, the suspect could have easily hidden behind. Then, waited in the shadows until Brookens was alone. His daughter he said, had to leave early to go and pick-up her son, otherwise, she would have walked-out with him.

"He was definitely aware that the gentleman would be exiting with the money at that location," Bradford said.

Brookens has parked his car at the two yellow steel poles next to the door's entrance for the three decades he's been running bingo for the church. There was never a problem until Sunday.

"And then he was forcing himself on me," Brookens said. "I tried to swing my briefcase like a stupid person trying to defend myself but he's already inside my range, he keeps pushing me backward, keeping spraying me the whole time."

Brookens lost his balance, fell and has a large gash on the back of his head, a scraped back and twisted arm and yet still managed to dial 9-1-1 on his cellphone.

"And he grabbed the money and ran," Brookens said.

The whole nightmarish ordeal lasted less than 30 seconds.

"I sat down for a moment, waiting for the EMS to get there and I just about lost it. I'm lucky he didn't have a gun or he didn't have something to hit me with because I would never have seen it coming."

Detectives said this appears to be an isolated incident. If you think you have any information call crime stoppers at 513-352-3040.

Whoever stole that money from a church bingo, should be on the lookout not only for the police, but for any stray lightning bolts as well!

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