INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Things turned physical when a man called out a con-artist who was preying on people in his neighborhood. Now, he and police have some advice on how to avoid becoming a victim.
The incident happened Tuesday evening on Totem Lane in the Golden Hills neighborhood.
Al Burgan said the suspect’s story had several red flags – red flags he noticed thanks to his work experience. Now, he wants others to know them before it’s too late.
“I didn’t expect it to happen the way it did. I didn’t expect to be hit the minute I opened the door,” Burgan said.
A bloody bump on his ear is where the man’s first fist landed, but he had several more cuts and bruises on his hands and arms.
It all happened after he called out a con-man that showed up on his door step trying to drum up cash for a fake charity.
“I know it happens all the time. I guess I possess the knowledge to know whether it’s real or fake. And I knew this one was fake,” he said.
Burgan got that knowledge from his days working in a non-profit.
He said his first issue with the man was when he looked out his window and saw him going door to door, something he said charities usually don’t do.
“I used the words ‘is your charity a 501-C3?’ and he couldn’t answer that question.”
Burgan said the man also claimed a police officer was escorting him. IMPD said they never collect money.
The man then handed over a piece of paper hoping to validate his charity. Burgan then shut the door in his face and quickly determined the document was a fake.
“I thought I’d give him the piece of paper back and it’ll go away. Instead, he came in and started to fight.”
After the two exchanged blows, the man took his paper and ran off down the street, leaving behind a painful lesson Burgan hopes others learn from.
“There are no legitimate charities other than the Girl Scouts that might knock on the door,” Bergan said. “If they’re in uniform selling cookies, fine. Anybody else, don’t open your door.”
Because of this incident, police are reminding people to simply not answer their door for strangers. If someone claims police are helping him or her collect money, IMPD says they are lying. If you see anyone trying to solicit donations just like this man did, police say don’t hesitate to call them.