Chicago Homeowner Kills Intruder Who Attacked Him With Hammer

Intruder came at the homeowner who went outside to investigate alarm, police said

By Michelle Relerford
|  Thursday, Aug 8, 2013  |  Updated 7:11 PM CDT
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Mark Hayes fatally stabbed an intruder who broke into his garage overnight and attacked him with a hammer. Christian Farr reports.

Mark Hayes fatally stabbed an intruder who broke into his garage overnight and attacked him with a hammer. Christian Farr reports.

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A homeowner on Chicago's Far South Side fatally stabbed an intruder who broke into his garage overnight, police said.

Police said the suspected burglar got into Mark Hayes' garage behind his home in the 0-100 block of West Brayton around 3:15 a.m., setting off the security alarm.

When Hayes, 44, went to the garage to investigate, police said the intruder came at him with a hammer and attacked him. Police said Hayes had a knife and fought back, stabbing the burglar, who was taken to Roseland Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the suspected burglar as 52-year-old Harold Cornell. Hayes was treated at his home for minor scrapes and bruises.

"I'm proud that he's alive and he survived to tell the story," Hayes' father, Melvin Hayes, told NBC Chicago.

Melvin Hayes said his son is an ex-Marine who works for a cable company and keeps tools, ladders and equipment in the garage.

He said his son was home with his wife and two stepchildren, 20-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy when the incident occurred.

"The guy actually said, 'Get the gun.' like there was someone else in there," Melvin Hayes said.

Police said there was only one man inside the garage.

"I think he was thinking about survival," he said. "If someone says, 'Get the gun,' what would you do?"

Residents in the West Pullman neighborhood said there has been a history of break-ins in the area and they hope that will change now.

Police on Thursday afternoon said an investigation into the incident was ongoing and declined to answer questions about whether charges would be filed against Hayes, who was not taken into custody.

Hayes expressed regret over what happened, saying Cornell was "somebody's father."

"I feel for the family," he said.

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