FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Despite having to spend Thanksgiving Day in a bit of pain from cuts and scratches to his arm, head and leg, Maurice Blanchar said he felt lucky.
The 89-year-old grandfather lives in Fort Lauderdale. He said he was renting an efficiency to Jimmie Lee Leeks for $500.
Leeks gave him $300 and never paid on time, he said. On Wednesday, Blanchar said he asked him to pay what he owed. But instead of paying, Blanchar said Leeks pulled out a machete and tried to kill him.
"I have been through so many things in my life," said Blanchar, who said he was born in France. "And one would think, enough is enough."
Fort Lauderdale Police Department detectives arrested Leeks and are investigating the attack. Leeks, who is a convicted felon, is facing aggravated battery against a person 65 years or older.
Blanchar said he instinctively used his cane to defend himself from the large heavy knife, so detectives had to take away Blanchar's cane, as it was part of their investigation.
"For $500, you are going to kill a man, because he asked for his rent money? It doesn't make sense," Blanchar said.
Without his cane, the injured man said he was feeling weak. He said the traumatic experience didn't shake his attitude of gratitude.
"I am just lucky to be alive," Blanchar said pointing to the sky. "I thank God."