Richard Delle was excited for retirement. The 69-year old bachelor had worked his entire life mostly in the concrete industry in California, before deciding to settle down and buy a house in the city he grew up in.
"He lived his whole life to be where he’s at right now," Mary Stroope said.
Instead Stroope has spent most of the last two weeks at her older brother’s bedside at Texas Health Presbyterian.
"For this to happen to him, is tragic," she said.
Delle has been in a coma since he was attacked in the parking lot of Home Depot in the 6000 block of Skillman on April 11,
According to Dallas Police, Delle was leaving the store when he was approached by a woman asking for money. When Delle refused, according to detectives, Amber Gray, 39, became angry and got into an altercation.
Investigators say a man Gray was working with, Lataurus Murphy, 39, then struck Delle in the head from behind.
"He was thrown face forward down on the concrete,” Stroope said.
Both Gray and Murphy were arrested at a nearby apartment complex later the same day and charged with aggravated robbery.
Stroope says she is extremely grateful for the work of Dallas Police to catch both suspects quickly and the work of doctors caring for her brother. But her gratitude also extends to those new neighbors her brother had just met in the weeks before his attack.
Without them, she says she may not have ever found out her brother was seriously injured.
Richard Delle, 69, of Dallas is in a coma after being attacked outside a Home Depot at 6000 Skillman on April 11, 2018. DPD made two arrests in the attack.
"He’s a free spirit, travels a lot, so it wasn’t unusual to only hear from him once every six weeks or so," Stroope said.
Werner Duhme and his wife Danica live just across the street from Delle and took a quick liking to their new neighbor in Dallas’ M Streets neighborhood.
"It was only for three or four weeks that we really had contact but he was so close already," Werner Duhme recalled this week. "We would see him come out everyday. And then, nothing."
As the newspapers out front stacked up, Duhme and other neighbors wondered what happened to their newest neighbor. A DPD detective eventually knocked on doors and together they helped contact Delle’s employer which had his sister in Houston as an emergency contact.
"The phone rang at our business and that’s how I found out," Stroope said. "He was here for a week with no one – no one. We’ve been here ever since."
Stroope says she is unsure if her brother will pull through, but wanted to express her thanks to the neighbors who cared enough to notice when something didn’t seem right at her brother’s home.
"There’s a lot of people who care – who don’t have to care, but they do care," Stroope said.