Mobile, Alabama

From the Mobile Press-Register of March 30, 2007

Armed woman holds suspected burglar

A mother who had just dropped off her daughters at school Wednesday morning held a suspected robber at gunpoint after she returned home to find him in her south Mobile driveway, Mobile police said.

Lelia Richardson left her Parkway Drive home at about 7 a.m. to take her two daughters to school, police spokesman Officer Eric Gallichant said Thursday.

When she returned about 50 minutes later, she saw an unfamiliar car under her carport and the door to her home open. The door frame was busted and splintered from where someone had apparently kicked it in, Richardson said.

“That’s when I knew exactly what was going on,” Richardson said. “I called 911 before I got out of the car and then I got my pistol … just in case he tried to do something to me.”

Richardson pulled into her driveway and blocked in the unknown car and a man she had “never seen before in my life” walked out of her home, she said.

“I saw him coming out of the house, and he walked up toward me to see who I was and that’s when it all happened,” Richardson said.

Richardson asked the man who he was, and he told her that he lived there, she said.

“I said, ‘Not unless you moved in during the last hour,'” Richardson said.

The woman drew her pistol — “I always carry it for protection,” she said — and told the man not to move until police arrived.

“He told me, ‘Please don’t shoot,’ and he said he was going to put everything he took back in (the house),” Richardson said. “And he did. He put it all back in my den.”

Richardson kept her weapon drawn while the man returned her things, she said, and kept her pistol on him until officers arrived and arrested him.

“You just have to be prepared for anything,” she said. “I like to make sure if anything happens that I’m able to protect me and my kids.”

Richardson said that through the whole ordeal, she was never once scared for her life.

“Because I knew if he came to me, I was going to shoot him,” she said. “I didn’t want to hurt him. I didn’t want to shoot him, but I didn’t want him to do anything to me.”

Investigators found some stolen property from inside Richardson’s home and a small amount of marijuana in the man’s car, Gallichant said.

Jedadhai Powell, 20, of Mobile, was charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree marijuana possession, Gallichant said.

Powell was being held Thursday at Mobile County Metro Jail in lieu of $3,500 bail, the jail log showed.

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