Disabled Osa man endures prolonged home invasion

A wheelchair-bound Puerto Jiménez man said he suffered through a 40-minute home invasion Saturday night but then received surprisingly generous treatment from the robbers.

“It’s strange, but they were actually somewhat kind to me and allowed me to keep my main laptop that has all of my work (life) on it and keep my car,” said the man, Gene Warneke. “They also allowed me to keep mementos of my father and mother.”

Warneke said he lost over $6,500 of electronics, cash, jewelry and gold that he bought from local river placer miners. He said the intruders were in their 20s and had their faces covered. The men crashed through his front door just as he was closing it after investigating noise in his neighbor’s yard, he said.

A third robber remained outside, he said.

He said that the crooks pummeled him around the back and side of his head head until he stopped struggling. “Luckily, I have only head and neck bruises, a big crick in my neck and an abrasion from my left ear to my mouth. I maintained enough calmness to calm them down and kept things from escalating by cooperating,” he said.

Warneke spoke with the men and said that one had an excellent knowledge of English. “. . . All that I know are sympathetic to my plight with my disability,” he said. “I think the thieves knew of this and thus treated me somewhat kindly after the initial shock and awe entry.” Warneke has one leg and uses a wheelchair.

The Judicial Investigating Organization sent agents Sunday, he said, adding:

“I feel very lucky not to have suffered any serious injuries, but I’m shaken to the core and feel a great loss of my freedom security.”

Puerto Jiménez is on the Osa Peninsula not far from Parque Nacional Corcovado.

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