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911 Call Released From Veteran Shot By Would-Be Robbers

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Nicholas Dragone was shot in his front yard by two robbers demanding his gold chain. (CBS4)

Nicholas Dragone was shot in his front yard by two robbers demanding his gold chain. (CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

PEMBROKE PINES (CBS4) – A 66-year-old Vietnam veteran who was shot three times while fighting off two robbers says his doctor told him he was “Superman” and he vows to never be victimized again.

Nicholas Dragone spoke with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench and Maggie Newland just hours after a new 911 tape was released of Dragone’s call for help.

He appeared remarkably calm as he told an operator he was “shot in the stomach and the side.” He also said the shooting happened outside his home and he was “looking for them.”  He said the robbers tried to steal his gold necklace.

Pembroke Pines police say Dragone was cleaning up debris from Tropical Storm Isaac just before noon on Tuesday when the two men in their early 20s approached him at his home on S.W. 14th St. at S.W. 69th Ave.

On Tuesday, Dragone told CBS4, “They wanted my gold necklace. I fought them off with my clippers.”

Dragone was transported to Memorial Regional Hospital where he was treated and released.

Police say the two men fled in a newer model, red Chevrolet Malibu.

“They got me but they will not get me again,” Dragone said on Thursday. “My doctor said I was Superman. I am not on a painkiller.”

“I heard at least 5 shots,” said Dragone, lifting his shirt to show how he was struck in the stomach and the side. And he pointed to where the bullets also hit his garage and his car.”

Despite the shooting, Dragone said, “I am in good spirits.”

Ed Gunther, who has lived in Dragone’s neighborhood for 21 years, told D’Oench that because of this attack and some recent crimes, he was planning to help restart a Citizens Crime Watch.

“I’m angry,” said Gunther. “I am glad he fought them off. I might not have done that unless I had clippers. I’m glad he defended himself with clippers.”

“It’s kind of strange though being attacked like this in the daylight,” said Gunther. “I guess I have to be more vigilant in the daytime. I have to keep my door locked. But it seems he was set up. How did they know he had a gold necklace?”

It’s not known if Dragone was intentionally targeted or if this was a random crime.

Police have only a vague description of the two suspects.

If you can help find them, call Pembroke Pines Police or Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).

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