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Clovis man, wife attacked in garage

link Sam Nathavong

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Roger Forester, 74, had a split second to decide whether to fight or dash into the house and away from the masked man rushing him in his garage on Kathie Street early Sunday morning.

Forester chose fight.

“It’s fight or flight,” Forester said Wednesday. “You know at my age, I’m not very good at either one. I just decided to be the aggressor.”

Clovis police said Forester’s alleged attacker, Sam Nathavong, 32, of Clovis was scared off after Forester told his wife, Mary, who also jumped into the fight, to go get a gun.

Nathavong was arrested later in the day after a police officer called to an unrelated complaint put two and two together from a morning briefing, according to police.

Forester said he was attacked just after 6 a.m. He was returning from a Sunday morning doughnut run, a ritual of sorts in the Forester house.

“I just do it every Sunday morning,” Forester said. “I go down and buy a couple of cherry fritters and we have them after Sunday dinner.”

Forester said he pulled his car into his attached garage. The automatic door was closing but stopped.

“I turned to see why, and he really startled me,” said Forester.

“He was dressed like a ninja, all in black, and he was moving in pretty fast.”

Forester, almost 6-foot-2, said he was holding his own with the smaller and younger attacker. Until he fell.

“I got a hold of his leg,” Forester said, both arms peppered with bandages from cuts suffered in the fight. “We were both down on the floor and were kind of at a stalemate.”

Mary rushed into the garage after hearing the commotion “and she just bailed into the middle of it,” Forester said.

Forester said the attacker punched his wife at least twice before he told her to run into the house and get a gun.

“He quit hitting me then,” said Forester, “and started trying to get away. He finally broke loose, and the last I saw him, he was running down across the street toward the alley.”

Nathavong lost his gold necklace and left behind a stolen purse in the struggle with Forester and his wife, according to police spokesman Capt. Patrick Whitney. Nathavong’s mother was upset when he returned home without the necklace she had given him as a gift, Whitney said.

“She asked him about the necklace and he gave her some story that he was at Kelley’s the night before and some guy wanted it so he just gave it to him to rather than get in a fight,” said Whitney. “She called us.”

Officer Amanda Boren, responding to Nathavong’s home, noted the description of the missing necklace matched the one she was told in an earlier briefing was found after the struggle in Forester’s garage. She called Detective Adrianna Munoz and after questioning, Nathavong was charged with felony aggravated burglary and burglary of a vehicle.

Whitney said police would also likely be seeking assault charges against Nathavong. He faces an Oct. 16 hearing in Magistrate Court.

He was in the Curry County Adult Detention Center on Wednesday. His bond was set at $25,000.

Both Foresters were treated for minor injuries at Plains Regional Medical Center.