Trent man reportedly assaulted in home robbery

A Trent man says he was robbed and beaten in two home break-ins on the same night.

Bruce Baumberger says the Moody County Sheriff’s Office first came to investigate when he called 911 after 11 p.m. on Jan. 24 when three men entered his unlocked home and took his 50-inch television while he was sleeping.

“My phone rang when they were in my house. They were looking for food, too. They already had the TV out,” he said. “Evidently, they jumped out the back window because I got up and guarded the front door so they couldn’t get out.”

The sheriff’s office is investigating the incident, and has not yet made an arrest, said Sheriff Troy Wellman. He said he doesn’t think there is a danger to anyone at this point.

“I do think it was an isolated incident,” he said.

After a deputy took the report, Baumberger locked his door and went back to bed but was talking on the phone when at least one of the men returned about 1:30 a.m., he said. That person, who wore a mask, attacked him in the head with a fire extinguisher that Baumberger owned, sending him to the emergency room in Dell Rapids where he got six stitches on the right temple, he said.

Baumberger, 49, said he knows the three who broke in because one of them used to live with him and because there was a picture of his stolen TV on social media.

The second time someone entered his house that night, he came through a window, Baumberger said.

“I started to jump out of bed right when he hit me,” he said. “I grabbed the fire extinguisher and chased him back out the window.”

The incident has made it hard for Baumberger to sleep. He also said that because he could identify the reported assailants, he hoped law enforcement would have been able to make an arrest.

“I think they were trying to kill me the second time because they were mad because I called the cops,” Baumberger said.

Wellman said that law enforcement still must investigate all reports before they can arrest someone. Otherwise, cases won’t hold up in court, he said. An investigation can take time.

“If we don’t do our due diligence to try and prove they did it or they didn’t, it’s not going to matter,” he said because charges could be tossed out.

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