A Pennsylvania burglar thought he had picked an easy target when he barged into the apartment of an elderly woman. But he messed with the wrong granny — and now 88-year-old Helen Reynolds has a message for other women her age.
It was the afternoon of Feb. 17 when Reynolds heard a knock on her Parkesburg, Pennsylvania door. She cracked the door open to find a young man standing there, appearing to be an apartment complex worker.
The man barged his way into Reynolds’ home, the start of a 3-hour ordeal. The intruder began searching her home, finding a meager $40, which he shoved into his pockets.
He then turned his attention to Reynolds. He began to wrap her face, eyeglasses included, in duct tape.
Disgusted, Reynolds admonished the out-of-control invader in her living room. “I said, ‘Would you do this to your mother to bother her like you are doing me?’” she told KYW-TV.
The lecture did nothing to stop the burglar, who then took Reynolds into the bedroom. He removed her clothing and pushed her down onto the bed.
Reynolds may not have been a physical match for the assaulter, but she had the upper hand with her sharp mind. She gave the man a carefully worded dose of poison that stopped the attack and sent him on his way.
“Well, it’s like this — you might as well know the truth,” Reynolds fibbed. “I have HIV and my husband died from it.”
Her lie worked, and the man’s sexual advances came to a halt. Reynolds believes the words saved her life.
“When I said that, he just walked out of the bedroom,” Reynolds recalled. The man then bound Reynolds’ ankles together with duct tape and wire, and left the building.
Reynolds was left to struggle on her own, managing to chew her way through the thick tape. Once freed, she managed to get help from a neighbor and notify the Parkesburg Borough Police Department.
Over nine months have passed since the incident, yet police have not made any arrests in the case. If the intruder ever does get caught, Reynolds has a few words for him:
“I have nothing good to say about him. Nothing at all,” she stated. “Put him in jail, and leave the sucker there.”
We agree, Mrs. Reynolds. We agree.
Reynolds hopes that through her ordeal, other women her age would feel empowered to fight for themselves, too. If you can’t put up a physical fight, words are a powerful weapon, too.
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