A home invasion caught on camera: A 26-year-old’s life taken in vicious attack

by Robert Nieves

He’s a hard core outdoorsman and a champion marathoning competitor with an astounding ability to dislodge super-glued, hardened wood from his hands and feet. His body is impeccable, left hand left, right hand right, left foot left, right foot right. To say that he’s a captivating figure is an understatement.

I felt an unmistakable, but immediately bewildering curiosity about him when I first saw the pictures. I had no name, but I had an identity that would only become more vivid as I learned more about him.

On February 11, 2012, Bob Croft was brutally murdered outside his Pismo Beach home in California.

Yes, Bob Croft was murdered.

He’s the man you see on the other side of the door marked “I Am Disabled.”

Bob Croft was born and raised in Chico, California. Bob was from Chico, California. He loved to live the life of the Chico Californian, cook, run, bike, hike, ride his bike, fish, and collect quilts.

He also loved to make quilts. While on vacation in Mexico in 2005, Bob purchased a collection of imported rugs made by a Mexican women who were micro-enterprise-based artisans.

These were hand-stenciled-on, handmade wall hangings that were made in small batches and sold to small individual buyers.

Bob taught his three children, Steven, Brandon, and Rebecca that quilts were fun. Bob taught them to respect all things handmade.

Bob brought the quilts to all of his family, friends, and neighbors for holidays and birthdays. He sold these handmade handmade pieces to friends, relatives, and strangers, and he started selling his quilts at local fairs.

It’s not surprising that Bob would add to his collection, given the fact that he loved climbing trees and climbing walls. When on vacation, he loved climbing trees, climbing walls, and hunting and fishing.

Bob was in the backcountry hiking with friend and coworker Laurie Soto, when he stopped to take a picture of a black bear.

It was just another hike. It wasn’t until he reached the bottom of a nearly sheer vertical cliff that Bob was assaulted.

At this point in Bob’s life, if the bears didn’t kill him, the robbers probably would.

After Bob made it home, Laurie spent the night by his side.

Bob had already suffered broken ribs and a lacerated liver, and he never woke up the next morning.

Six months later, Bob’s best friend Laurie Soto was out with her husband, David Soto, on their first hiking trip in two years.

They went back to the backcountry that day, and ended up at the bottom of that same cliff.

At this point in Laurie’s life, she was glad to see Bob alive.

On this same hiking trip, Laurie was shot in the head. David saw Laurie falling out of the cliff and immediately called 911. David kicked and tried to dig at the bottom of the cliff to try to save Laurie.

Robert Nieves: I Am Disabled.

That night, Laurie died from the injuries she suffered the night before.

Robert Nieves: Why Can’t I Keep My Walker Outside My Front Door?

So, why couldn’t Laurie and Bob keep their hands and feet outside their front door when they entered their home that night?

Robert Nieves: I Am Disabled.

For the better part of a decade, Bob Croft, along with his family, took very little consideration for their home invasions. They don’t think about what might happen to them. They just think about how beautiful the world can be. And what could possibly ruin that.

But now that Robert Nieves has become a 29-year-old man and adult of his own, he and his family, as well as other disabled individuals, have to wake up one morning to learn that they will have to deal with this world on their own, without help or protection.

Not just once.

Not just twice.

Not just three times.

Not just 25 times.

It’s as if we have been given a clear message: every disabled individual deserves the same human dignity and respect as those of normal standing.

But, for the disabled, this is not the case. Instead, we are being constantly teased, teased, harassed, and possibly killed if our only mistake is moving within the disabilities parameter.

Robert Nieves: I Am Disabled.

Robert Nieves: Why Can’t I Keep My Walker Outside My Front Door?

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