87-Year-Old Woman Fights Off ‘Awfully Hungry’ Teen Burglar, Feeds Him Snacks While Calling 911

Our homes are a place we’re meant to feel safe, so when someone shatters that sense of security by breaking into our property, that can be jarring. That’s even more true for older people who live alone and may feel especially vulnerable and unable to protect themselves against intruders. However, for 82-year-old Marjorie Perkins, fighting off the teen burglar who barged into house in her Brunswick, Maine was basically NBD.

  1. Perkins was sleeping at around 2 a.m. on July 26 when something startled her. She awoke to see a 17-year-old boy who used to mow her lawn standing above her. “I’m going to cut you,” he told her, according to the Brunswick Times Record.
  2. She wasn’t about to take this lying down. The former elementary school teacher decided to stand up and start putting on her shoes, but the teenager began hitting her. “I thought to myself, ‘If he’s going to cut, I’m going to kick,’” Perkins recalled. She then used a chair as a shield and began shouting for help.
  3. The teen hit her harder, including punching her once on the forehead. However, Perkins fought back, kicking the teenager and continuing to protect herself with the chair.
  4. Eventually, her self-defense efforts paid off and the boy left her alone. He then headed to the kitchen, where Perkins noticed he had no shoes or pants on. Instead, he had taken them off and put them next to a knife. “You need to get out,” Marjorie Perkins told him. “You need help.” He had removed her window air conditioning unit to break into her home.
  5. The boy admitted he was starving. Perkins told the Times Record that the teen admitted he was “awfully hungry and hadn’t had anything to eat for a while.” She handed over two tangerines, two Ensure protein shakes, and a box of peanut butter and honey crackers.
  6. Marjorie Perkins dialed 911 as the boy ate, “as fast as she could.” While the boy did leave before officers arrived at her home, they soon tracked him down a few blocks away. He was arrested and booked into a youth detention center and charged with burglary, assault, and criminal threatening.
  7. She wishes the teenager the best despite what he did. According to Perkins, the boy used to do “a darn good job” when he used to mow her lawn about 10 years ago for pocket money. She was thankful she hadn’t been more injured in the incident and hoped the boy would get help so he could get his life back on track.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill