Paterson, New Jersey

From of September 27, 2007

Woman causes burglar to bolt

The woman had little choice but to pull the trigger. She was locked in her bathroom. An enraged burglar was pounding on the door. A loaded pistol was in her hands.

But now Paterson police are wondering what would cause a burglar to try to attack his victim, when most attempt to flee the scene when they are caught.

The 22-year-old woman indicated that she did not know the man.

The incident occurred at about 10:30 a.m. Monday, when the woman returned to her Thomas Street home.

She walked into the kitchen through a side door, looked up and noticed a man rummaging through her living room, Detective Lt. Anthony Traina said.

The man, who was described as slender, 5 feet 2 inches tall and dressed in blue jeans and a green shirt, saw the woman and charged at her, Traina said.

The woman ran to her bedroom, locked the door and grabbed her husband’s handgun and ammunition, Traina said.

The gun is legally registered to the woman’s husband, he said.

She then ran into the bathroom, locked that door and loaded the weapon while sitting on the floor.

Meanwhile, the burglar burst through the bedroom door and began pounding on the bathroom door. “But he’s not saying anything to her,” Traina said.

The woman, still on the floor, pointed the gun at the door and fired.

While the bullet missed the burglar, it pierced the woman’s bedroom wall and lodged itself into the outer wall of a neighboring house.

No one was injured and the burglar fled the house.

With her would-be attacker gone, the woman called police on her cell phone. Several patrolmen soon arrived. They entered the ransacked home and proceeded to the bedroom.

They discovered the woman still on her bathroom floor, crying with the handgun by her feet, Traina said.


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