Man pistol-whipped by intruders, one wearing Ronald Reagan mask

by: Joanna Small Updated:

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SEATTLE —

A South Seattle man was beaten up so badly by three masked men on Halloween night that when he ran for help, people thought he was in costume. It happened just off of Rainier Avenue South.

“Look how bad they kick in the door,” victim Phong Tran said.  He let KIRO 7 inside his South Seattle home on Findlay Street and pointed out the cracked door jam.

Phong thought it was trick-or-treaters banging on his front door, and while the three suspects were wearing masks - one of Ronald Reagan - they were robbers, and it was a home invasion.

"One of them hit me directly with the gun and I was down on the floor,” Phong said.

Phong said he watched helplessly as they robbed him of the little he says he has.

“When one of them took my wallet, I asked them to ‘please I have no money in there,’ and they told me ‘shut up’ and came and hit me one more time in the head.  They asked me for jewelry - ‘where's the jewelry, where's the jewelry’ - and I said ‘we are poor, we don't have jewelry,’” Phong said.

The suspects took electronics and a phone, forcing Phong to run to a nearby business hosting a Halloween party.  We talked to the people who helped him moments after they called 911.

"He was covered in blood and we just figured it was just Halloween so it was his costume but he seemed pretty out of it right?” Andrea Mendoza asked her friend, who helped Phong as well.

“Yeah, he was like shaking,” agreed her friend.

Phong spent the rest of the night in the hospital and returned home Saturday morning in pain and afraid.  He said two days ago he actually saw someone trying to break in through the back door of his house, so his brother-in-law had already ordered surveillance cameras but didn’t get them installed until after this home invasion.

That same incident Thursday prompted Phong to also put a lock on his front gate, but he said the intruders jumped his fence. 

He's convinced his house was picked at random, but he said the robbers were meticulous; masked men on a doorstep on Halloween night almost blend right in.

Police are still searching for the suspects. Because of the masks, Phong couldn’t provide a very detailed description.

A canine officer on the scene tried to track the suspects but was not able.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at: (206) 625-5011.