An 80-year-old recovering from surgery fought and shot a home invader on the Northwest Side, prosecutors say

Chicago — An 80-year-old man recovering from prostate surgery fought and shot a home invader who broke into his Chicago home this week, leaving the 13-time felon in critical condition, officials said. The tenacious octogenarian also fired a shot that left a graze wound on a second home invader’s head. Prosecutors said the victim did not know the offenders.

The victim was in his recliner, recuperating from surgery, when someone knocked on his front door in the 8500 block of West Catherine around 10:30 Monday morning. The elderly man opened the door, thinking it was a neighbor who had been checking on him since his surgery, only to find 51-year-old parolee Mansfield Wallace on the other side, according to prosecutors.

Tabitha Hemphill and Mansfield Wallace (2020) | Cook County sheriff’s office; Chicago Police Department

Wallace allegedly forced his way in, pushed the victim to the ground, and physically fought him on the ground and then on their feet. The victim, a licensed gun owner, broke free and retrieved a pistol from his bedroom.

As he did, he noticed Tabitha Hemphill, 31, near a dresser where he kept his money, prosecutors said. The victim fired a shot at Hemphill, grazing her head.

He returned to the living room, fought with Wallace again, and fell to the ground as they struggled to control the pistol.

Prosecutors said the gun fired two times during the fight, striking Wallace in the chest.

Wallace allegedly took the gun away, stole a watch from the victim’s arm, and fled in a stolen car with Hemphill.

Surveillance video showed her dropping him off at Resurrection Hospital. Chicago police arrested her nearby and recovered the victim’s firearm from under the car’s driver’s seat.

Prosecutors claimed she had cash, the key to the stolen car, and a baggie of heroin in her vagina. At the hospital, police allegedly discovered the victim’s watch in Wallace’s possession.

The victim was treated at a hospital for a black eye, bruising, lacerations, and other injuries.

Wallace was released from prison on December 2 after serving half of four concurrent 40-month sentences he received for shoplifting. Prosecutors said he is also on parole for stolen motor vehicle and burglary charges from 2019.

He is charged with home invasion causing bodily injury, aggravated battery of a victim over the age of 60, and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.

Wallace remained hospitalized on Thursday and did not attend his bail hearing. State law prohibits defendants from being held without bail if, through no fault of their own, they are not physically present for the bond hearing.

Judge Charles Beach ordered him held in lieu of $500,000. However, he is being held without bail on a warrant from the Illinois Department of Corrections, which is reviewing his parole status.

Beach held Hemphill without bail at the state’s request on a charge of home invasion causing great bodily harm. She had two outstanding warrants at the time of her arrest.

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