A World War II veteran faced off with an intruder to his home. But not only did the 95-year-old came out on top, but his 51-year-old daughter successfully chased the burglar down.
Fred Bennett, retired Marine and retired firefighter, was sitting in his living room in West Allis, Wisconsin, at about 7:45 p.m., Dec. 4, watching TV.
Suddenly, his chihuahua Hugo started barking toward the hallway. Bennett stood up and walked toward the bedroom door. He opened the door, but it wouldn’t open all the way, TMJ4 reported. He leaned in and saw a man “standing flat against the wall.”
“I was almost standing nose to nose with him,” Bennett told Journal Sentinel. ”That was a shocker.”
One of the Greatest Generation, Bennett shouted at the man, “What are you doing here? Get the hell out of here,” he told WISN.
But the intruder demanded Bennett’s wallet threatening to kill him and his dog otherwise, Bennett said.
Bennett wouldn’t have any of it.
“I wasn’t scared,” he said. “I was so damn mad.”
The veteran pinned the burglar against the door, who took advantage of the position to reach into Bennett’s back pocket and take his wallet.
But Fred Bennett had stretched his stamina further yet, wrestling the intruder to the ground, calling for his daughter, Mary Bennett.
Mary rushed down the stairs in mere instants. “I don’t remember my feet touching the steps,” she said.
Barefoot, wearing her yoga outfit, she threw her hands around the intruder, trying to keep him in place.
They struggled through the house to the kitchen. The man bit her arm in the process, she said.
Mary managed to get the wallet back. But the man drew back his fist and threatened to punch her. She let go of him.
The intruder apparently decided it was time to leave. He ran out of the door. But he wasn’t alone.
Mary gave a chase.
“I was mad because of what he did to my dad,” she said.
The chase was actually funny, Mary said. The burglar was a middle-aged man and was escaping the crime scene at a mere jog.
“I could have caught him at any point,” Mary said. “But I didn’t want to tackle him because nobody knows I’m out here.”
And so the chase continued.
“We jumped over two fences and ran through 12 yards,” Mary said. Along the way, she was knocking on windows and yelling to neighbors to call 911 and that she was chasing a robber.
She later learned some people indeed called the police and that her trail of alarm may have helped police to follow the chase, she said.
She started to hear police sirens. Then she saw a squad car. That was her cue to pounce on the man. He wasn’t really fleeing at that moment as his leg got caught on the top of a picket fence.
“I got a hold of him,” Mary said.
Now the man changed his tune, saying he was sorry and pleading for her to stop.
Bennett held the man until police arrived and took him into custody. “He fought for your freedom, and you’re doing this,” Mary scolded the man.
Police found on the burglar nine silver and gold cufflinks with valuable stones, suspecting they had been stolen from another home. Police are looking for their rightful owner.
Gary Wells, 53, of Milwaukee was charged with felony burglary by the Milwaukee County district attorney on Dec. 12.
Mary said her father’s reaction may had come from his service background. But she was a bit surprised by her own reaction.
“It was just reflexes,” she said. “I guess it rubbed off from my father.”
She said, however, she wouldn’t had done the same if the intruder had a gun.
“After it was all over, I thought, boy, that was a dumb thing I did,” Fred Bennett said, with a laugh.
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