Posted: 9:08 p.m.
A local man was visiting in Costa Rica when he was brutally attacked in his own vacation home.
Gary Lee, 73, of Yuma tells News 11 he was sound asleep in his vacation home in the Central American country June 22nd, when two men attacked and used a gun to beat him in the middle of the night.
Gary says he was very frightened. "Oh, it scared me to death...they burst through that door with all sorts of noise and jumped right on top of me," Lee said. He says he's had nightmares ever since the incident.
Lee says when he got up to try and defend himself, the intruders shot him in the leg.
Lee is no stranger to the country or travel. The Yuma resident owns Princess Travel in Yuma, and he has owned the home in Puntarenas, Costa Rica for the past six years.
Still, the brutal attack took him by surprise. Lee suffered a broken femur that was fused together with a rod and held together with metal pins.
YUMA--Gary Lee, 73, recovers in Yuma after being shot in the leg during a home invasion in his vacation home in Costa Rica.
He believes a disgruntled home caretaker who had quit earlier that day was behind the attack.
But he says, over the years, he's observed that attacks like these against tourists are a pattern and a problem without a remedy.
The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica reports a steady increase in crime. At least 19 U.S. Citizens have been killed in Costa Rica since January 2011.
The U.S. Department of State recommends general safety tips for tourists, including not going out after dark, making family and friends aware of your plans, and becoming familiar with local laws.
Lee said, despite the attack, he will still travel and he doesn't want to discourage anyone from going abroad. He only hopes that tourists will take necessary precautions.
The State Department offers a smart traveler enrollment program where you can sign up to be contacted in case of an emergency.
Visit www.travelregistration.state.gov for more information on travel tips.