Burglar attacks resident with acid, paint
Police at the Merriwa house this morning. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Update: Police say they will leave no stone unturned after a 66-year-old father was attacked with a concoction of acid and paint by a home invader.

Peter Nelson had been lying on his lounge in his Dunmore Circuit home watching the final stages of the Champions League Twenty20 final when he dozed off about 2.30am.

Police believe the burglar picked up the phosphoric acid from Mr Nelson’s car port before entering the home via the car port door. Mr Nelson uses the chemical in his work repairing bath tubs.

The father-of-two said he woke as the intruder doused him the household paint and phosphoric acid mixture before he started shouting and swearing at him.

He then grabbed a set of car keys and tried to steal the car from the driveway.

“The paint went all over my glasses, which was better than it going into my eyes …with the acid it could have blinded me,” he said.

Mr Nelson said he then started yelling for help from his son who woke from his bedroom and tried to chase the intruder on foot after he failed to steal the car he had grabbed the keys to.

The smell from the chemicals was apparently so strong police who first arrived at the home were overcome by the fumes.

I’m vulnerable in the fact that I’m old and weak and disabled…what if it had been a single grandmother, I was just lucky that my son was at home because he’s often away,” he said.

The 66-year-old said he only realised about 45 minutes after the attack the pain he was experiencing was not consistent with simply paint on the skin.

Mr Nelson remains in a stable condition at Royal Perth Hospital receiving treatment for chemical burns to about 16 per cent of his body including his neck, shoulder, torso and upper leg.

Detective Senior Constable Jamie Paterson said the attack was “absolutely vicious and cowardly”.

The intruder is aged in his early 20s, about 170cm tall with dark skin and was wearing dark clothes. He was last seen headed towards Dalvik Park.

Anyone with information about the attack or the man is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Peter Nelson is recovering in the Royal Perth Hospital Burns Unit. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

The West Australian

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