> Family wallops would-be robber, wraps things up for police Wednesday, July 19, 2006 WEST PALM BEACH — While covering his head amid the barrage of flying fists and feet, his legs bound with a jump-rope by children half his size, a bruised and bloodied Craig Mack had a sudden realization, police say: He'd picked the wrong family to mess with. Mack arrived at the Perez family home at 611 28th St. Monday night just as an exhausted Mateo Perez was getting home from a 12-hour day of landscaping and cleaning buildings. Mack probably figured he could swipe Perez's wallet and get away without much of a fight, police said. But he didn't count on having to brawl with the rest of the Perez clan: Candelaria, the 4-foot-9 housewife with a wicked right hook she honed as a girl on the streets of Guatemala; daughter Imelta, the mellow 13-year-old who never dreamed she would take a chair to a robber's head and tie him up; and son Juan, the 10-year-old Miami Heat fanatic who traded his basketball for a stick to whip an attacker. When Mack attacked Mateo Perez shortly before 10 p.m., the father of five cried out for help from the family he has supported single-handedly since arriving from Guatemala in 1987. Within seconds, they were fighting at his side. About 20 minutes later, police found Mack lying face down in the back yard, his legs bound in jump-rope, Mateo sitting on top of him. Mack, 23, of Loxahatchee, was examined at St. Mary's Medical Center and later taken to the Palm Beach County Jail. He is being held without bail on charges of robbery and battery. His criminal history includes arrests on charges of larceny, dealing in stolen property and firing a weapon. "We knew we had to be strong and help our dad out," said Juana Perez, 15, who called 911 during the fight. "This guy was big, but we weren't going to let him get away. He wasn't going to kill our dad in our own yard." Mateo Perez, 45, had spotted Mack lurking in the bushes, the family said. Knowing he was in danger, he banged on a house window and yelled for help. Mack was suddenly on him, dragging him to the ground before pulling his wallet from his shirt pocket, police said. Mack started to run away, but Perez grabbed his feet and pulled him to the ground. The men wrestled in the yard. That's when Candelaria, 42, and her children Imelta, Juana, Juan and 6-year-old Alycia came running out of their pink two-bedroom home. Candelaria said she grabbed Mack's hair, shaking his head while she and her husband struggled to keep him down. The 6-foot, 155-pound Mack punched or kicked her, she said, sending her to the ground. He beat her husband and ripped his shirt. Her parents in trouble, Imelta picked up a blue plastic yard chair and cracked it over Mack's head, leaving him stunned and dizzy. "I smacked him, and he went silent," the Palm Springs Middle School sixth-grader said. Candelaria, bruised and furious, charged Mack again as he wrestled Mateo Perez. She punched him, grabbed his hair and repeatedly slammed his head into some wooden boards in the yard, the family said. Juan came after him with a stick. Candelaria ordered Imelta to go inside and get something to tie Mack up. She came out moments later holding an old white jump-rope with wooden handles. As her father held down Mack, she and her siblings carefully bound his legs and tied a solid knot. "If they had not come out, maybe I would have been badly hurt or maybe killed," Mateo Perez said. When police arrived, the family said the officers ordered Candelaria to step away from Mack. But before she stood up, the housewife gave him a final sock in the face. Police took him away. "I hope he learned his lesson," Candelaria said.