Korean War veteran attacked, robbed in Aurora apartment

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AURORA -- 81-year old Lee Pekish joined the Army when he was just 18 and he was nearly killed in Korea while serving between 1950 and 1954.

Now he lives in apartments near Havana and Jewell.

He says he gets along with everyone in the complex, but Saturday evening following his normal dog walk with his pal, Toby, someone got into his unit. When he returned and while taking his dog’s leash off, the intruder waylaid the vet, knocking him out. The mugger also robbed Pekish of about $300.

“I didn’t know what had happened,” said the vet. “I was out for about three hours. When I woke up I was in a pool of my own blood and when I fell my chair almost severed the few toes I have left.”

Pekish lost his leg when his platoon was attacked in Korea. He was shot and while trying to escape, his jeep hit a land mine, the blast taking his right leg.

He has lived four years in the apartments on Jewell and his friend, Sandy Nolan, says someone has been trying to get into his unit for several months.

“We think he is no longer safe here, but he doesn’t agree,” she said. “We have those no-slide bars on the windows and door, but he may have left the door unlocked Saturday night, which is how the attacker got in.”

Proudly displaying an NRA sticker on his patio door, Nolan says both have concealed carry permits, noting, “It’s a good thing they attacked him from behind or they would have been rudely surprised!”

Police took a report and EMTs took Pekish to the hospital for CAT scans and treatment. No word on any suspects in the attack that ironically could have taken the vet the day before we honor soldiers such as Lee Pekish.

A fund to help Lee Pekish with his recovery is being set up at Bank of the West.  More details will be posted here when they are available.