Retired Manteca area dairyman Arnold Rothlin survived a severe beating in a 2 a.m. Saturday home invasion robbery at his home on South Airport Way.
Three Hispanics – two men and a woman – entered the rural south Manteca farm home using a crowbar to force open a door while Rothlin and his wife were sleeping in separate bedrooms. They woke him with the glare of a flashlight in his face.
One of the men was about 5-foot-6 and the other 5-foot-10, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Sgt. Andrew Lane said no weapons were used against Rothlin or his wife. Granddaughter Angela Smith confirmed that the trio was in the house for an hour until her grandmother hit a panic alarm causing them to flee on foot with no vehicles seen in the area. The men found Rothlin’s shotgun but forgot to take it with them when they were spooked by the sounding of the alarm. He said detectives would be working the case today.
“My grandpa fought for his life and fought back, somehow getting the strength to keep fighting,” Smith said. “One of his arm pads had all the skin taken off from fighting with his one attacker who was wearing rough gloves. He is also very bruised and swollen but doing well and in good spirits today.”
The men fought with the dairyman for over an hour first attempting to smother him with a pillow and later placing the pillow case over his head. While they were demanding money and checks from the Rothlins and ordering that their safe be opened, the woman stayed in his wife’s bedroom and rummaged through her jewelry while ordering her to stay in bed and under the covers. Rothlin received a gash on his arm requiring stitches at the hospital, Smith said.
Despite their constant demands for money, there was no cash in the house; however Mrs. Rothlin had $600 in her purse that they took when they left the home “with many, many heirloom type items.”
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