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Published June 23, 2006

[Times photo: Maurice Rivenbark]
From his wheelchair, Patrick "Blair" Stevenson, described as a quadriplegic, shows how a gun was held to his head during a home invasion and attack about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Three intruders were in the secluded house for about 30 minutes. They tore open and flipped the living room sofa, and stole guns, a computer and some jewelry before making their getaway, leaving Stevenson bleeding from the head. The Sheriff's Office has not made any arrests.

BROOKSVILLE - Patrick "Blair" Stevenson was dozing off during a show on coin collecting when he heard a crash. He thought it was his dog knocking over the big screen TV, but before he had time to think anything more, three men burst into his bedroom.

Stevenson, who is considered a quadriplegic, sleeps with a .357 magnum by his side. The 42-year-old can't move his legs or hands because of a dirt bike accident nine years ago, but he can swing his arms.

About 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, the men grabbed him by his hair, forced him face down into the bed and hit him with a pistol, he said. He tried to flail his arms, but the men beat him with a pistol. Blood came from the back of his head.

"They put the gun to my head and I heard the trigger click," Stevenson said. "They said, 'Don't move. If you move again, you're dead.' "

Stevenson said he prayed silently to let God know he was on his way.

But the men didn't shoot. One of them kept him pinned down and the others ransacked the house, tearing the stuffing out of his couch and loading his $2,300 big screen TV onto a lift that Stevenson uses for his wheelchair.

They stayed in the house about 30 minutes before departing, leaving the big screen TV behind but taking four guns, a bracelet, a necklace and a computer.

"I don't know what they were looking for," he said Thursday. "Why would somebody do this?"

When the men finally left him alone, things didn't get much better.

Stevenson lives by himself in the secluded house he built out of sight and out of earshot of neighbors. His wife left him soon after his accident and took his three kids with her.

He was alone when his attackers left.

From 3 to 9 a.m., when his nurse arrived, Stevenson lay on his bed bleeding, he said.

His phone had been disconnected, his cell phone stolen.

"I thought they were going to come back and kill me," he said. "Obviously, they didn't, but thank God."

Stevenson used to work as a contractor in his family's masonry business. But his passion - and, for a while, his profession - was motocross racing.

On May 17, 1997, he was finishing a race in Dade City when he took a spill. The crash wasn't particularly fast - 30 mph - but as he was coming down the bike landed on him and snapped his spine.

Now he gets around his specially equipped house in a green motorized wheelchair. He said he spends days trading stocks and playing on the Internet. At night, he watches television. He lives off disability payments, he said.

Earlier this year, Stevenson said, he went to Mexico for stem cell therapy. All of a sudden he was able to move his right leg like nothing had ever happened, he said. But the treatment wore off after three days.

He's hopeful that there will be some breakthrough, but until then he's stuck waiting.

Stevenson went to Hernando High, but dropped out, getting his GED later. The 70 trophies on his mantel testify to his skill at motocross.

He used to ride bikes in the woods behind his house. Nobody would bother him there - that's why he liked it.

But now he says he doesn't feel safe there.

The Hernando Sheriff's Office has not arrested anyone in the case and so Stevenson, with seven staples in his skull and a bruised cheek, feels vulnerable.

"I know they'll be back," he said of the robbers. "There's nothing to stop them."

Researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Jonathan Abel can be reached at [email protected] or 352 754-6114.

Lots of times it's the isolated houses that get hit because invaders know that no one will be able to witness them going in, etc.

Some other points for discussion:

1. If the man could not use his hands, how did he use his revolver for self defense?
2. Why did they have to "pin down" a quadrapalegic guy?
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