Carey Shealy Sr., 84, of Florence is recovering from injuries after being assaulted in his back yard on National Cemetery Road Monday during an attempted robbery.
The World War II veteran was fixing the lock on his shed when a man hit him in the side.
"It took me such, by such surprise in the privacy of my own backyard, not bothering anybody. He comes off of the street on to private property, trespassing and hits me. It knocked my breath out of me," said Shealy.
The Florence County Sheriff's Office charged Calvin Mouzon, 24, with Attempted Strong Armed Robbery.
Magistrate Mel Thompson set his bond at $15,000 Tuesday morning.
Shealy says Mouzon was trying to get inside his pocket to get his wallet.
"I was eyeball to eyeball with him and that's when he said 'give me your wallet'. And he proceeding to put me on ground," Shealy explained.
He added that Mouzon continued hitting him, but Shealy wouldn't roll over to give access to his wallet.
Shealy's neighbor, Damon Moody, heard Shealy screaming for help and ran over to see what was going on.
"I took off. It was a race. Barefeet and all, no shoes on, but I was determined to get him," said Moody.
Moody is a former police officer with years of service at different departments in the Pee Dee.
He says he chased Mouzon down National Cemetery Road, even going back to get his SUV to continue the chase.
Moody says a Florence County sheriff's deputy happened to be patrolling the area, saw Mouzon running, and stopped him.
After an investigation, deputies arrested Mouzon for the crimes.
Shealy was taken to the hospital by ambulance and treated for injuries to his left side and underarm.
He says he served his country proudly and never imagined he would be attacked on his property.
"By me being in service, I was protecting his rights. He wasn't even born then, and that's the kind of thanks I get?" Shealy questioned.
He's thankful his neighbor was around to him help and says Moody saved his life.
"Had not Damon been to my rescue, he could have beat me right on down. Cause he had got a good start," said Shealy.
Moody says his instincts kicked in from being a police officer for so long, and he still does all he can to protect those around him.
"It's one of those things where it's stranger than fiction, but I was fortunate that I was at the right place at the right time. I'm fortunate, I have those instincts to do what's right, not be afraid, protect my friends, my family, my neighbors, my loved ones and my property," explained Moody.
Shealy is hoping deputies will also charge Mouzon with Assault and Trespassing after further investigation.