DREW BARRYMORE DEVASTATED OVER BROTHER'S BRUTAL BEATING

Published on: May 13, 2002

A devastated Drew Barrymore is offering a helping hand to her brother John after he was nearly beaten to death in a botched home robbery.

Actor-turned-computer consultant John Barrymore, 47, and his wife Rebecca were brutally bludgeoned by a 17-year-old high school student wielding a weapon fashioned out of a heavy steel trailer hitch, say police.

Drew, who was filming a movie in Los Angeles at the time, wanted to fly to Northern California and rush to John's bedside, but family members told her it would be best if she waited until he recovered from surgery, a source close to the family disclosed.

"Drew told them to keep her informed of his progress and added that if there was anything she could do for them, they shouldn't hesitate to ask.

"Drew is distraught over this terrible crime. She angrily told a pal, 'I hope they put the animal who did this to John behind bars for the rest of his life!' "

Police believe the teen charged with the attack, 17-year-old Michael Anthony Jordan, and five teenage accomplices went to the Barrymores' house in Mountain View, Calif., on May 1 to steal marijuana plants in the home.

"The plan was to knock John out and steal his weed," said the source. "But it got out of hand."

John answered the door and Jordan knocked him on the head with the trailer hitch wrapped in a sock, according to police.

"After John went down, this kid stood over him and hit him again and again," said the source. "Rebecca heard her husband moaning but when she came to his aid, Jordan started beating her with the hitch until she fell unconscious in a pool of blood as well."

After Rebecca regained consciousness she called 911 and John was rushed to a hospital for emergency surgery.

"John lay near death as doctors worked furiously on him," said the source.

"Rebecca said, 'The beating was so savage that it not only cracked John's skull but made several deep depressions in it. The skull was pressing on his brain, which started to swell. It was real touch and go for him."

But John pulled through after six hours of brain surgery and is now recuperating.

"It was a vicious attack. They are lucky to be alive," officer Jim Bennett of the Mountain View police told The ENQUIRER.

Jordan has been charged with attempted murder and could be sent to prison for life, while the other teens face lesser felony charges, according to Bennett.

To make matters even worse for Barrymore, Bennett said police confiscated the marijuana plants they found in his house when they answered the 911 call, and he could face charges too!

Drew is particularly devastated because she'd made plans to get together with her half-brother John and their father John at John Sr.'s home in Malibu, the source added.

"Drew wishes she could have at least seen her brother before this whole thing happened."