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Chris Bieri, Forum Communications, Published May 01 2012

VIDEO: Three masked men attack homeowner, kill dog in Grand Forks robbery

A Grand Forks man said he was clubbed in the back six times and knocked unconscious by three masked men who robbed his mobile home in north Grand Forks early Monday morning.

Sherman Jones, 39, said the intruders also attacked his wife, killed his Chihuahua “Baby” and made off with two TVs, a safe, jewelry and his wife’s prescription drugs.

“They almost killed both of us,” Jones said Tuesday.

Grand Forks police said the men were wearing dark clothes, gloves and masks when they broke through the mobile-home door demanding money and drugs at 5:40 a.m.

Jones and his wife Carmen, 47, were watching TV at Unit 136 of the Valley Ho Mobile Home Park at 1823 N. Washington St., and were “completely surprised” when the robbers invaded.

“They hit me in the back six times in my kidney area,” he said. “They hit my wife in the jaw and kept on kicking her in the stomach and head and ribs.”

Sherman Jones, who was taken to the emergency room following the attack, said he blacked out early in the incident and didn’t see the men attack his wife or tiny dog.

Carmen Jones was injured, but wasn’t hospitalized.

“Baby,” a female, was one of five Chihuahuas the couple owned. Now only “Lady,” “Precious,” “Gunner” and “Chester” remain.

Video evidence

The break-in was caught on surveillance video by the Joneses, who have cameras installed in the entry way of their trailer and outside.

“We always have had cameras and stuff,” he said. “The only reason we have had video is to prevent all this stuff. I think everyone in cities should have video on their places. That’s the only way they’re going to catch them and get justice.”

He said the exterior camera was to keep an eye on vehicles and the lawnmower, among other items.

Random target?

Jones did not recognize the assailants and didn’t know why they would target him or his wife for drugs and money.

Two of the men are described as being approximately 6 feet tall, with average build and dark hair, possibly in their late 20s. The third appeared to be in his mid to late teens with a slim build; he was about 5-foot-8 with blond hair.

Police believe they left on foot and fled to a Red Hyundai Tiberon.

“I don’t think it was a completely random thing,” Grand Forks Police Sgt. B.A. Johnson said. “For whatever reason, the Joneses were targeted. We’re not sure what that reason is, but we don’t believe it’s a completely random thing.”

Jones said among the items taken were his wedding ring and other jewelry he and his wife had planned to give to their two daughters who live in East Grand Forks. He said both he and his wife are disabled, and don’t believe they were the specifically targeted in the crime.

He is still shell shocked from the incident, he said.

“I just hope to get through it and hopefully they get justice out of it,” he said. “I have a good feeling they’ll catch them. It’s wrong what they did. They should know there are consequences.”

How you can help

Those with information about the robbery are asked to contact the police department at (701) 787-8000. Anonymous information may be reported to Crime Stoppers at (701) 746-1000.