NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An 85-year-old robbery victim has been speaking about how close he came to dying.
A robber locked him in a hot shed in his backyard. The criminal was a teenager.
Police said he broke into the man's home and stole his car.
The incident happened in the 1100 block of Riverside Drive in East Nashville.
Connie Nicholson wasn't hurt, but for a few minutes it was pretty scary and hot as he tried to break out of a locked tool shed attached to his garage.
Nicholson said it all started when someone rang the doorbell.
"They started ringing the bell, and when I went outside there was nobody there. They were gone," Nicholson said.
It was a horrible trick to play on any elderly person.
Nicholson said then his air conditioner stopped working, so he went outside to his shed to grab a tool.
Someone was hiding and waiting for him.
"They were hiding behind the garage,” Nicholson said. “When I went inside they locked me, pushed me inside the door."
They locked the door and went inside his home.
There they found his keys and stole his car.
"They didn't touch the money, just the key,” Nicholson said. “That's all they wanted was the key to drive the car, and then they didn't care if I die in there you know."
Nicholson said he was locked inside the stuffy, hot shed for about ten minutes.
It's a small area, and maybe the size as a half bath.
Getting hotter by the minute he felt around in the dark and found an axe.
Nicholson showed it to us and said, "I guess this is uh, the axe that saved my life."
After several whacks on the door near the latch, it broke and he made it to safety. A neighbor called 9-1-1.
"I think it's really sad. And I think it could have been a lot worse," said Metro Police East Precinct Commander David Imhof.
Nicholson said he felt okay, but he was hot.
Police officers found three teenagers in Nicholson's car about two blocks away.
They ran from police and wrecked the car.
Police charged one of them with assaulting Nicholson and locking him inside his shed, burglarizing his home and stealing his car.
"It's something that could have got a lot worse than it actually was,” Commander Imhof said. “The victim in this case was really fortunate to not be injured and not suffer any type of medical problems."
It's something Nicholson will never forget. He bought the home in 1951 for $6,000. Nicholson just sold it.
He was set to move in about a week, and when he does he'll be closer to his family in Madison.
"After I leave here I will relax and forget about all this," Nicholson said.
Nicholson was pretty excited about the move, especially after what just happened.