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Elderly man attacked with ax

A man whom police said was attacked by a person with an ax Thursday morning at his home near English has been released from the hospital and is recovering from injuries received in the attack.
Wendall Eastridge, 70, returned to his home along Brownstown Road Thursday morning after having breakfast at a local restaurant. As he entered his pole-barn-type garage, a person wearing dark coveralls, gloves and a ski mask was hiding on top of a stack of hay, jumped down and attacked Eastridge with an ax.
Eastridge was struck in the head by the ax, but he struggled and managed to get the ax away from the attacker. The person then picked up a lug wrench and attempted to attack Eastridge again. Eastridge resisted once again, grabbed the lug wrench and was able to get it away from the attacker, who then fled.
According to police, the phone line to Eastridge’s residence had been cut, and Eastridge had to drive himself to the 64 Express Mart in English to call 911. Crawford County EMS responded to the store and treated Eastridge for cuts. Eastridge then drove himself to the hospital in Orange County, where he was treated and released.
Crawford County Sheriff Tim Wilkerson and two deputies, Shawn Scott and Jeff Howell, arrived at the Eastridge residence just minutes after the 911 call and began a search of the buildings and surrounding area.
Crawford County’s K-9 unit was used to try to determine the escape route used by the assailant and to locate evidence.
Numerous items of interest were found, and police continued the investigation.
An Indiana State Police trooper was sent to the hospital to interview the victim as Wilkerson requested an additional dog and handler from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to help in the case.
‘We’ve been working on this case around the clock,’ Wilkerson said Monday. ‘We’ve been out to the scene several times and have had several people working on it. There are detectives working on it, some even in other counties.
‘We’ve been really baffled with this one; things just didn’t add up,’ he said. ‘But, I believe it’s an isolated incident, and the local community shouldn’t be overly concerned.
‘We have some ideas now and expect an arrest soon.’

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