Man talks about saving his neighbor from naked attacker

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An 88-year-old woman is recovering after being attacked in her home by a naked teenager. Riley Heilman, 18, left his home naked, jumped the backyard fence and went after her dog then came after her. Fortunately, her neighbor Joseph Fairchild heard her cries and came to that woman’s rescue.

It was a Friday morning wake-up call no one in the quiet neighborhood ever expected. Screams were coming from Fairchild’s neighbor’s house around 7 a.m. that morning.

“I knew something was wrong because this was no ordinary scream,” he said. “I might have come jumping over that [bench] because I was in a hurry.”

It all went down in the 5300 block of South Camden Drive. For Fairchild it was all a blur, but what he saw next was 20/20. He saw his neighbor on the ground and a man standing over her naked.

Mugshot of Riley Heilman, 18, provided by Allen County Sheriff's Department.
Mugshot of Riley Heilman, 18, provided by Allen County Sheriff’s Department.

“Yeah butt naked,” he said. “Not a stitch of clothing on.”

Police said that naked man was Riley Heilman, and that Heilman hit the woman several times in the head and dragged her around by the hair. Fairchild witnessed it first hand.

“I heard him tell her that he was going to kill her and kill her dog.” he said. “She looked at me and she goes, help me Joe, help me.”

Then he saw Heilman standing naked over the injured woman, attacking her while clutching a piece of wood. That’s when Heilman came after him. The two fell down on the back patio where Heilman grabbed a nearby dog bowl and struck the neighbor numerous times in the face and head, causing the neighbor’s glasses to break.

“We pretty much wrestled, fought all over the patio. I ended up taking him down,” he said. “And I just kept hollering for somebody to call 911.”

Eventually someone did. Another neighbor called the police after hearing all the commotion and witnessing the scene from her home. Authorities arrived and took Heilman into custody. Fairchild said they praised him for his heroic efforts.

“Between the police officers, EMTs, [the woman] even said herself that if I wouldn’t have got there when I did she would have been dead,” he said.

It’s still unclear why Heilman was naked. Police have not said. The woman is recovering from her injuries. Fairchild suffered only minor injuries.