CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A good deed turned into a nightmare for one South Bay family recently. Police said they helped a homeless man only to be later attacked by him.
Robert Parker told FOX 5 it was Saturday when he felt compelled to help a stranger.
“I went to the 711 to go get something to drink for me and my wife and some snacks for the kids. I ended up seeing a transient, a homeless guy in rags,” Parker said.
Parker said he felt bad for the man so he offered to give him some clean clothes and food.
“I actually went inside the house, grabbed some wardrobe and took it out and gave it to him and he got dressed behind the dumpster and then he left, and we didn’t think we were going to see him again,” Parker said.
However, that was not the case.
“He kept coming back. Multiple times, and over time he came back he kept getting angrier,” Lindsey Heger, Parker's wife, said.
The last time he showed up was around 3 a.m. Sunday.
“He kept insisting he had to get in the house,” Parker said.
Parker said he calmly tried to get the man away, but suddenly the guy grabbed a small outdoor table and smashed through the window where his two daughters sleep.
“I heard this big bang and my sister fell down and I was shocked. I didn’t scream because of how scared I was,” Mia Parker, 12, said.
“I was just too scared to cry,” Mia's 14-year-old sister Desteny said.
Desteny said she fell onto the floor covered with shattered glass and cut her feet. Then, without hesitation, Parker's wife got the kids out of the room and called 911 while her husband was fighting the attacker.
“The safety of my children came first,” Parker said.
Parker chased him over a wall and eventually got him to the ground with the help of several witnesses. They waited there until police arrived and took the man away.
The plumber is now left with an injured hand and foot but is happy to be still standing next to his family. Even though they were hurt by someone they helped, the family -- who were once homeless themselves -- said this experience will not change their hearts.
“We’re still not going to stop helping people,” Parker said. “You stop helping people then you start losing your humanity."
The suspect has been identified as 28-year-old Raul Viera. He was booked into San Diego County Jail for vandalism and assault with a deadly weapon.
Viera is being held on $30,000 bail and is expected to appear in court at the end of next week.
Parker said with his injuries, he is unable to work and provide for his family. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help them.