ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WALA) - According to Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies, a man is dead after they responded to a call concerning alleged attempted break-ins.
They said the incident began at Norbert Chabannes' home on Canal Drive, when he assaulted his maid by trying to gouge her eyes and slam her head against a wall.
After that crime, investigators say Chabannes then crawled to his neighbor's home where he threw objects at windows, in an attempt to break-in.
"He was hollering, 'Help me, help me, help me. Nobody will help me,'" said a long time neighbor of Norbert Chabannes.
Deputies said Chabannes then crawled across the street and died on the front step of a long time neighbor, who called him Robert.
"I've been numb to it because I knew Robert and his family were really good neighbors, and it's just now starting to hit me that Robert is gone,” said the neighbor.
The Escambia County Sheriff's office report shows that Chabannes would have been charged with battery and burglary.
Chabannes neighbor, who agreed to talk to us off camera, said Chabannes threw a heavy cement block at her window, while kneeling, and moments later he was dead.
“You know, the police officer kindly said to him, 'Robert I'm going to have to handcuff you and I really don't want to. Now come on cooperate,' and he had had him fixing to handcuff him and he collapsed,” said Chabannes’ neighbor.
Chabannes neighbor said first responders worked on him for more than 30 minutes. She said Chabannes had substance abuse problems, but never acted out like this before.
“He was actually a really, really nice guy - until the drug dealer shows up and that's it,” said Chabannes neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous. “I feel that he overdosed and sadly it happened while the officer was calmly calling his name, trying to make a connection, telling him who he was, and handled it better than I would have.”
Chabannes had a criminal record in Mobile County and Escambia County. His last arrest was in May 2013 on a traffic violation.
FOX10 reached out to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement late Tuesday, August 20 for an update. The only thing they told us about this case is that they are usually invited to investigate.
The Escambia county sheriff's office would not say if Chabannes was using drugs at the time of his death.
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