Beloved community member in Lorain attacked by thieves in his own home

LORAIN, Ohio-For almost fifty years, 77-year-old Jim Popiel has been one of the radio voices of high school sports in Lorain County.

“I would be the wrong person to ask who's going to win the Super Bowl or the World Series," he joked.

He's watched young people do incredible things on the field and in his classroom when he taught Spanish at the old Admiral King High School.

That's why he feels especially sad that a group of young people invaded his home and attacked him.

They had jimmied open a window in the middle of the night and were inside before he could do a thing.

“By the time my phone warmed up and I was able to dial 911 the intruders had come in and snatched the cell phone from my hand and then ordeal began," Popiel said.

Jim says at least two men held him in his bedroom while a third person ransacked his home.

They roughed him up quite a bit. He said they just seemed desperate.

“They said they wanted money, and where’s the money, and so forth, and even before I had a chance to answer, they struck me with a pistol right in my head and they were very stern in their method and irrational too, which was scary."

After several minutes, Jim’s alarm, which did not go off when the window was forced open, suddenly went off on its own.

The thieves bolted from the house by kicking open a steel security door and running across a field.

Since the incident, Jim has been overwhelmed by the community's support.

Students and fans have been sending him cards and well wishes from around the country and at church last Sunday he received a standing ovation from his priest and friends.

He says it takes some of the sting away, but overall, he says someone was watching over him that night.

“I went to bed around 11:30 that night and I was very attentive of my nightly prayers. Sometimes you're thinking of other things -- why you prayer-- but I was very attentive, so I felt very secure that the Lord would be guiding me to the right thing."

Lorain police are still looking for the suspects involved in this home invasion.

In the meantime, Jim says he’s looking forward to getting back in the broadcast booth as soon as possible because the high school football playoffs are about to begin and he doesn’t want to miss a thing.