Man dies a week after fighting with trespasser at his home

A man was killed after confronting a man who was trespassing at his home in Long Beach’s Hellman neighborhood, according to authorities.

Police said the victim, 66-year-old Lewis Haller, died Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the hospital where he’d been for a week following the confrontation.

The killer attacked Haller on the night of Feb. 5, according to a statement from the Long Beach Police Department. Haller called for officers’ help around 9 p.m., but when they arrived he told them he didn’t want to press charges and refused to be taken to a hospital, police said. The attacker had already fled, the statement said.

Medics treated Haller at the scene, but the next day he ended up taking himself to the hospital, according to the LBPD.

When Haller arrived, hospital staff notified officers, who realized Haller was the victim of the attack the previous night, LBPD spokeswoman Arantxa Chavarria said. Because of the severity of Haller’s injuries, officers called in homicide detectives, Chavarria said.

Detectives were able to learn that on Feb. 5, Haller had gotten into a physical fight with the trespasser at his home on Alamitos Avenue near Hellman Street, according to Chavarria.

Public records show Haller lived next door to one of the four homes that were raided in a large meth-selling bust Monday.

Police, however, said that appears to be a coincidence. There’s no connection between the homicide investigation and drug raid, Chavarria said.

Detectives are now looking for the trespasser who killed Haller. Police said witnesses described him as a black man in his 40s, about 6 feet tall, with a large build. He was seen wearing a light-colored top and dark jeans, police said.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children, Paul and Simon.