IT was more trick and beat than trick or treat, when Santo Galati was left with a fractured skull after a pumpkin heist gone wrong.
On Halloween he’d been asleep in his home above the family’s Wray Avenue grocery when awakened at 4am by noises from the loading area at the rear of the shop. He rushed outside to find three men lobbing pumpkins and onions around his driveway.
On confronting them, the 50-year-old was king-hit and ended up flat on his back in the road: “There was punches flying everywhere and before I knew it I had three of them on top of me,” says Mr Galati. “Two of them held me down while the other one got laid into me. When they saw I was a bit groggy and disorientated they got scared and ran off.”
At first the robust old-school Italian didn’t want to go to hospital but when blood started filling his lungs, his wife rushed him to A&E.
His skull had been fractured in three places. Within hours he’d been discharged, but he must see a specialist to see if he needs a metal plate.
“I’m not sure if it was an attempted break-in and they got frustrated, or if they were just drunk on Halloween and trying to get a pumpkin,” he says.
“Our CCTV camera recorded them, so I have submitted the footage to the police.
“We get a bit of anti-social behaviour around here, but we’ve never had much problems with break-ins at the shop.”
WA Police are investigating the assault and confirm it was not an attempted break-in.
Despite all the trauma, Mr Galati has not lost his sense of humour: “I fell asleep on the couch, so I was fully clothed when I ran outside to confront them,” he says.
“Maybe I would have fared better if I had jumped out of bed—my wife says I do my best work when I’m naked.”
by STEPHEN POLLOCK