Woman, 73, Breaks American Flag Pole Fighting Off Intruder–So Police Buy Her a New One

September 5, 2020 Updated: September 5, 2020

Utah police have rallied behind an elderly local after she and her family were attacked in their own home. When an intruder broke into her property, 73-year-old Lejune Timmerman grabbed her American flag and fought back using the flagpole, with Old Glory still attached.

The flagstaff was broken in the midst of the melee.

The break-in occurred on the morning of Aug. 31 when a man set foot in Timmerman’s yard, entering through the front gate, according to South Salt Lake Police Department (SSLPD). The elderly woman and several of her family members were on the property at the time.

The trespasser approached her brothers and without cause attacked them and attempted to choke her, she later told local news KUTV. Then, survival instincts kicked in. And Timmerman reached for the flagpole.

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“I grabbed my glory and started beating the h*** back,” Timmerman said. “I whooped his a** and I’ll whoop it again!”

Timmerman and her family ran inside the home to escape the attacker, but he followed them inside, kicking the door open to gain access. Minutes later, police officers arrived on the scene and arrested the man, 42-year-old Justin Scott Smith, for aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, and criminal mischief.

Afterward, the 73-year-old expressed dismay that her American flag pole had been broken during the scuffle to the police. “She did not want to desecrate the flag,” the SSLPD later wrote on Facebook.

Sympathizing, the department collected funds from its members to replace the broken flagstaff.

Timmerman has lived with her brother, Paul Hultgren, in their Utah home for over two decades, she told the news outlet, adding that crime rates have risen since the South Salt Lake homeless shelter opened its doors less than a block away.

“Everything was fine until they built that,” Hultgren said, adding that he and Timmerman now plan to move. “I’m out, it’s too much for me.”

The shelter, a 300-bed men’s resource center operated by nonprofit The Road Home, opened in November 2019 after much lobbying and debate. Homeless service providers and South Salt Lake city officials were left in protracted disagreement over the shelter’s terms of use, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Since the break-in, SSLPD officers returned to Timmerman and Hultgren’s property on Sept. 1 and presented them with a replacement flag and helped to erect it outside the house.

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