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Canoga Park Man, 71, Fatally Stabs 20-Year-Old Intruder

July 24, 1986

A 71-year-old Canoga Park man used a kitchen knife to fatally stab a 20-year-old Simi Valley man who broke into his house and attacked him with a card table Wednesday morning, Los Angeles police said.

The body of the dead man, whose name was being withheld pending notification of his relatives, was found in the garage of the home in the 21800 block of Gresham Street, Detective Russ Lyons said.

The home's owner, Neil Cronin, apparently stabbed the youth in self defense and was not arrested, Lyons said. However, the case will be submitted to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office for routine review, Lyons said.

According to police, Cronin and his wife, Margery, 74, were awakened at about 7 a.m. by their dog's barking and saw a man standing outside their bedroom door. The man immediately fled, Lyons said.

While his wife called police, Cronin went to the kitchen and armed himself with some knives, the detective said. He then confronted the man in the downstairs entry hall and began holding him until police arrived, Lyons said.

But the man ran to another bedroom, took a folding card table and began to hit Cronin on the head with it, Lyons said.

Cronin was treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries, police said.

Police discovered that the youth had entered the home through a kitchen window, Lyons said. They also found money and jewelry belonging to the Cronins in the intruder's pocket, he said.

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