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Ex-San Diego councilman attacked in home invasion robbery

January 12, 2012 |  8:20 am

A former San Diego City Councilman was pistol-whipped in a home-invasion robbery Wednesday night, and thieves set fire to cars in the garage as they fled, police said.

Harry Mathis, 78, was pulling his car into the garage in the University City neighborhood around 9:15 p.m when he was accosted by a gunman, authorities said. Mathis’s wife and a neighbor were already being held inside the house.

Mathis, a retired Navy submarine captain, was carrying a gun and fired two shots at the robbers but they were not hit, police said. Mathis has a permit for the gun.

The robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of money and set fire to cars inside the garage as they left, police said. The blaze was quickly extinguished by San Diego firefighters.

Mathis served on the council from 1993 to 2000 and is currently chairman of the transit district. He reportedly was treated at a hospital and was able to return to his home Thursday morning.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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