An Indianapolis woman used her medieval fighting skills and Japanese sword to subdue a man who broke into her house Thursday night when she couldn’t find her gun.
When 43-year-old Karen Dolley awoke to the sound of a strange man’s voice in her house, she leapt into action, attacking the home invader and pummeling him with her fists by striking him at least 10 times.
After driving the would-be home invader into a corner with her ferocious attack, Dolley, who stands 5-foot-6 reached for her bedside table and trusty firearm, but couldn’t find it in the heat of the moment. That’s when she drew her ninjato, a Japanese-style fighting sword, and held it to the invader’s throat while using her other hand to dial 9-1-1.
Police arrived about two minutes after the call to discover 30-year-old Jacob Wessel cowering in the corner. He was arrested on felony charges of residential entry and sent to the hospital because he was high on an unknown substance, according to the Indy Star.
“I didn’t think I was getting good blows in but my knuckles are bruised today. Hitting someone like that, it isn’t like the movies. You’re expecting it to be louder and see people jerk around, but that’s not how it happens in real life. At the end of the day, I’m glad to know that even if I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m not going down without a fight.”
Dolley picked up her medieval fighting skills when she was 18-years-old and trained in the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group dedicated to developing skills used in 17 Century Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. SCA members make their own armor and weapons and then fight huge, un-choreographed battles.
Now, Dolley is a roller derby recruit going by the name Foul Morguean with the Naptown Roller Girls.
Although her case turned into a rather comic lesson for the intruder, most home invasions don’t have a happy ending. When a home is broken into, it’s not just the owners who suffer; family, friends and neighbors can feel the fear, as well. While statistically rare, home invasions scare home owners because they violate the sanctity of the safest place we can imagine — our homes.
The key, experts agree, is to remain vigilant, but not let emotions turn to terror or paralyzing fear.
For those worried about being the victim of a home invasion, experts recommend keeping the outside of the home lit. Outside lighting will deter an intruder; criminals would much rather practice their devious deeds in the dark and typically move on to an easier victim.
Also, prickly bushes outside ground floor windows can make it harder for intruders to gain entrance. A noisy pet can also help act as a security system.
Keeping pepper spray or bear spray by ground floor doors can be an easy weapon to use against an intruder. If you own a gun, experts agree it’s important to receive training and know how to use the weapon properly or it could be more dangerous than helpful.
Experts also recommend creating a safe room. Something as simple as a bedroom closet reinforced with a hand operated deadbolt at the top and bottom of the door and equipped with a telephone and a backup weapon like pepper spray can make a great safe room. When constructing a safe room, be sure the hinges are on the inside of the door.
[Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]