Senior citizen, 80, who was beaten with baseball bat dies in hospital

GREEN SPRINGS TWP. An 80-year-old Green Springs man died Monday, the day after he was brutally attac
Sarah Weber
May 24, 2010

GREEN SPRINGS TWP.

An 80-year-old Green Springs man died Monday, the day after he was brutally attacked by a home invader.

A woman called the Seneca County Sheriff's office at 5:07 a.m. Sunday saying she and her husband had been attacked in their home on the 11100 block of County Road 62.

Bette S. Rios, 69, later told deputies her husband, Frank Rios Jr., woke to the sound of the front door closing early Sunday morning. He got up to investigate and found a man standing in their home.

Bette Rios told deputies the man beat her husband unconscious with a baseball bat before turning on her. She said the man then left the residence.

Bette Rios was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated and released. Frank Rios was taken by Life Flight to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Hospital staff at St. Vincent said Frank Rios was in poor condition when he arrived in the emergency room at about 7 a.m. Sunday morning. The Lucas County Coroner pronounced him dead at 4:54 p.m. Monday.

Authorities are still seeking the man responsible for the assaults despite a search by the Sandusky County Sheriff's canine unit. The man is described as a tall, slender white male.

Nobody was home Monday at the small, white house on rural County Road 62.

Dawn Miller, the Rios' closest neighbor, said she was shocked by the attack.

"Frank would give you the shirt off his back if you wanted it," Miller said.

She said she has been neighbors with the Rios for 20 years, and the couple didn't lock their doors.

"He said if somebody wanted to break in and steal stuff, they were going to," she said.

Miller said Frank Rios was healthy for his age, and he tore the old roof off his home this summer.

"He was the spryest old man," she said.

Miller said with the attacker still at large she and her mother, who lives with her, slept with the lights on Monday night.

"I don't know if it was somebody that has been around, or just someone who was doped up and walking into people's homes," she said.

In the village of Green Springs, few people were aware of the attack.

Jordy Sours, 15, said he had just heard about incident Monday.

"This is crazy," Sours said. "They went a bit overboard beating old people."

He said he would be more alert while authorities are looking for the man responsible for the crimes.