HERO: Elderly Woman Fights Off Thief With Back Scratcher

The movie version of this story might be titled, "To Scratch A Thief."

A 63-year-old cancer patient was hailed as a hero after chasing away a thief using the only weapon she had -- a back scratcher.

Patty Kearney and her husband, Donald, were watching TV when they heard a crash in the back room of their Marion, Indiana, home Monday night.

Suddenly, they saw a strange man wearing a hockey mask, carrying a large wrench and duct tape.

The intruder confronted the married couple and demanded any guns they might have in the home.

Kearney quickly realized the robber was not carrying a firearm and fought back with her wooden back scratcher.

Kearney was able to do this despite struggling with lung cancer and pulmonary disease. She wears an oxygen mask to help her breathe.

“I looked at him and said, 'Do you have a gun?' And he said no, and I don’t know what happened. I snapped,” she told WTVR TV. “I don’t think he expected an overweight woman on oxygen to attack him. I really don’t.”

Kearney kept hitting the burglar until he dropped the wrench.

Then she picked the wrench up and hit the man several times until he fled, bleeding.

“I said not in my house, not in my house,” she told “I just hit him in the head, hit him in the head, hit him until he got right there, and I hit him once more and he ran out the door.”

He is described as a 5-foot-7 white man, last seen wearing a green sweatshirt and a plastic hockey mask.

If the burglar decides to return, the Kearneys are prepared. They've installed a security system and Patty still has her back scratcher.



Weapon Of Choice