Man delivering bacon stops violent attack

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 10:54:56-05

A Sebring man delivering bacon to his friends is being called a hero for stopping a violent attack.

Don Vineyard had just arrived at his friends house with freshly cooked bacon when he made the horrific discovery.

"I walked around her car, and there they were laying on the floor. He had both hands over her mouth like this," Vineyard said.

Detectives said right before he arrived with breakfast, Donald Lastrina broke into the house and brought the victim to the ground. Investigators said he was making threats, demanding money, and Vineyard even saw him choking her.

"I should have poured coffee on him and then took the mug and beat the hell out of him. That's what I'm disappointed I didn't do," Vineyard said.

Instead, the 71-year-old man took the headlock approach, dragged him out of the garage, and received some threats of his own.

"He said, 'Now I got a gun, and I'll shoot you,' and I said, 'Well you better start shooting," Vineyard recalls.

The intruder decided to give up, and started running while Vineyard got his friend some help and called 9-1-1.

He said within 10 minutes the suspect was captured while he was still on the phone with a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton said it was all impeccable timing.

"A perfect scenario. Thank God the guy walked in when he was trying to kill the woman, and thank God our deputy was in the right place to make the capture," she said.

For now, Vineyard is nursing his injuries -- he cracked four ribs during the scuffle.

But he said he'll take that pain any day over what almost happened to his friend.

"She could be dead," he said.