- An 87-year-old woman in Maine awoke to find a half-naked man standing at the foot of her bed.
- The man threatened her with a knife and she fought him off by kicking and hitting him with a chair.
- Before he fled, the woman recognized him as a teen who used to mow her lawn and offered him snacks.
Faced with a home intruder threatening to cut her with a knife, Marjorie Perkins acted on pure instinct: She put on her shoes, fought off her would-be assailant, and then made sure he’d had enough to eat.
“I woke up to see a male standing over me by my bed telling me he was going to cut me,” Perkins, a resident of Brunswick, Maine, told News Center Maine in an interview about the July 26 incident.
The intruder had entered the 87-year-old’s home just after 2 a.m. by sliding over the conditioning panel on her window and squeezing through the gap. He had with him a water bottle full of alcohol, according to Perkins, and local police told Insider he had a knife, which he had left in the other room before waking the woman.
“I jumped out of bed, got my shoes on — real fast because they don’t have ties — and I was ready to kick,” Perkins told News Center Maine.
The 87-year-old struggled with her attacker as he pushed her up against the wall, so Perkins said she grabbed the first thing she could reach, a chair nearby her bed, and began swinging it at him until he grew tired and stopped his attack.
He started to leave but first stopped in the kitchen.
“I kept saying, ‘You need to get out. You need help,'” Perkins told The Times Record. “He said he was awfully hungry and hadn’t had anything to eat for quite a while. And I said, ‘Well, here’s a box of peanut butter and honey crackers. You can have that whole box.’ I gave him two containers of Ensure and I gave him two tangerines.”
As he ate, the woman used her rotary phone to dial the police. While she did, he escaped on foot, leaving behind a pair of shoes.
Responding officers used a K9 named Jack to track the suspect, according to a statement to Insider from the Brunswick Police Department. The intruder, a minor, is in custody at Long Creek Youth Development Center, facing charges of burglary, criminal threatening, assault, and underage liquor consumption.
The Brunswick Police Department did not confirm the suspect’s identity, but Perkins told The Times Record he was a neighborhood teenager who used to mow her lawn when he was younger, saying: “He did a darn good job. I hope he gets help.”
The former elementary school teacher said she’s glad she wasn’t hurt more seriously than being shoved around but has taken the alarming incident in stride, warning others to make sure their air conditioning units are properly secured — and to be prepared for anything in the face of an emergency.
“Don’t sit and cry about it,” Perkins told News Center Maine, laughing about the experience. “Be ready to kick and pick up a chair and hit somebody with it.”