Garland Man Attacked While Trying to Protect Vegetable Garden

Suspects' vehicle got stuck in man's rain-soaked garden

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Thursday, Jun 7, 2012  |  Updated 11:40 PM CDT
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Two men driving in the yard of a 70-year-old retired construction worker attacked the man when he asked them not to drive in his garden.

Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News

Two men driving in the yard of a 70-year-old retired construction worker attacked the man when he asked them not to drive in his garden.

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Garland police say two men who led officers on a chase on Interstate 635 Wednesday were fleeing after beating a 70-year-old man in his yard.

Wes Hightower, a retired construction worker, said he went outside to protect his vegetable garden when he saw a sport utility vehicle speeding through his yard.

"It was pretty trying," he said.

Garland police said Jason Bridges and Matthew Bridgewater were fleeing from someone when they got stuck in Hightower's rain-soaked garden.

Hightower said he ran outside and told the men not to drive on his garden, which he believes set them off.

"He jumped out and said, ‘Mister, I'm a professional boxer, and I'm fixing to beat the so-and-so out of you,'" Hightower said.

Neighbors said they saw Hightower take as many as 15 blows to the head.

"He just started to hit me as hard as he could," Hightower said. "I didn't know what to do."

But he did get one shot off, he said. Hightower reached for a chunk of concrete and threw at the SUV as it sped away.

"I hit it dead center, right in the middle," he said.

Hightower, who spent several hours in the hospital Wednesday night, was treated for bruising and swelling.

"I didn't do too good of a job protecting myself," he said. "He just didn't give me a chance."

Bridges and Bridgewater are in the Garland jail, charged with injury to the elderly, resisting arrest and attempted robbery.

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