An Elderly Couple’s Defiant Stand Against Armed Robber

By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

ST. CHARLES, Minn. (WCCO) — A 91-year-old Minnesota man and his 82-year-old wife say they weren’t scared, but the guy trying to rob them sure was.

A masked intruder wanting money barged into Wally and Betty’s apartment in St. Charles over the weekend. However, he got something in return.

Wally was sitting at his computer when the man entered his home.

“He just stood there in that doorway, standing there with a shovel,” said Wally. “I thought, ‘what the hell is going on here?’ I thought it was a joke!”

After hearing all the commotion, his wife, Betty, went to the front of the house and found him on the floor. Wally had been punched in the nose and it was bleeding.

“I sat on the edge of the bed. He says, ‘give me your hands! I’m going to tie you up!’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t think so,” Betty said.

They both resisted. It happens to be in Wally’s blood. The World War 2 veteran wasn’t about to give in to the guy’s demands — his wife wasn’t either.

After a couple minutes of struggling, the man ran out the door with nothing.

“I’m damn near 92 years old. So, I’ve lived my life. He’s got his ahead of him, and it might not be too rosy, you know?” Wally said.

The couple will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary in March.

“I’m just thankful that everything turned out OK,” said Betty.

The man is described as a white man in his early 20s, with a black stocking cap and gray ski mask. He’s said to be about 5-foot-10, with a slender build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black nylon jogging pants.

Despite the couples’ bravery, police generally don’t recommend being uncooperative with a criminal’s demands, because it is better to play it safe.

  • Sam

    Hero of the day to Wally and his wife. Incredible.

    • Captain Incredulous

      I think you need to re-read the article. It said that the “suspect was white in his early 20’s with a black stocking cap and a gray ski mask”.

    • BIll Lynes

      Again read the article the second to last paragraph give a complete description including the statement that he was white!!!!

    • TruthHasNoAgenda

      Actually it says in the 12th paragraph that the young man was white not black.

    • BIll Lynes

      The discription of the dirt bag was a white male in his early twenties, etc. read the second to last paragraph in the article. Good Lord, read the article don’t assume!

    • ?

      you idiot look at Mcnaught’s link it says he was white!
      Freaking racist people

    • dave

      Where do you see he was black? It’s people like you that inflame race issues.

    • Hakim

      Actually, people have just gotten used to the “code.” It’s okay to mention the skin color of a suspect in a news article when the suspect is white, but it’s relatively rare to see skin color mentioned when the suspect is black. Tell me why else articles that include descriptions of height, weight, hat, shirt, pants, jacket, tattoos, identifying marks, etc. don’t say a word about skin color. It’s a question of journalistic integrity. It’s not racist to assume that because of political correctness, if skin color isn’t mentioned, that the suspect likely was a person of color.

      • listingstarboard

        “The code” also extends to political party–if the wrongdoer is a white Republican it is mentioned 14 times, if no mention of party is made the perp is always a Democrat.

      • Lee0521

        that’s because the perps usually ARE a person of colour….brown or black, to be exact.

    • joshbot

      “…police generally don’t recommend being uncooperative with a criminal’s demands, because it is better to play it safe”!?!?!” Every single founding father is back flipping in their grave. I was really hoping that this would have had a gun involved on the parts of the residents. Notice the police aren’t suggesting people simply arm themselves like we should. Instead we are told to roll over and take a good ol’ fashion pillaging. My grandparents will blow your head off if you bust in their homes and so will I. MAKES ME SICK!

      • COkid

        Right on joshbot!

      • john

        here, here !! “Evil only triumphs when good men do nothing”. I’ve got a CCW permit and it’s every citizen’s responsibility to get one. It will make our society safer.

      • AtillaTheHun

        No no no! Head shots are risky. Go for the body mass.

      • Jeff McCurry

        Arm yourself and play it safe!!!We have to be able to defend ourselves in these crazy times or kiss your ass goodbye.The couple in Minnesota are an example to us all…we can’t wait for someone to save us…we have to be able to defend ourselves.I know the police get there as soon as they can but sometimes that is too late.Thank you to all the of the officers that respond to calls such as these!!

      • Martin

        Yep, I’ve got a CCW permit too and generally sleep with my revolver on my nightstand, so anyone wishing to attempt a home invasion isn’t going to get too far. So goes for messing around in public.
        A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

    • Todd

      “The man is described as a white man in his early 20s”. Did you read the article?

      Besides, MN has pretty good laws about defending yourself in your own home. They have nothing to fear but the jerk who tried to rob them.

    • branden

      My god ur stupid, get an education dude, and learn to read! its written right in the article… its people like you that make unnecessary kayos in the world.

      • Honest Kent

        “It is my occupation to be plain.”
        “ur” “kayos” Get an education “dude”.

      • Anon

        Learn to write! You’re absolutely full of grammatical and spelling errors. ‘Kayos’? Chaos, fool. ‘It’s’ plain to see ‘you’re’ not as educated as you think.

    • David Mcnaught
      • Bob

        A few years ago, my Mom was at home when a burgler entered her home. She leveled a 12 gauge double barreled shotgun and the criminal ran. This was a defensive use of a firearm without a shot being fired.

      • JC

        What can you say???

        It’s true, this man truly is a part of “THE GREATEST GENERATION”
        No doubt about it.

        Too bad they are being replaced by the ME Generation….SAD

    • Richard Carpenter

      No, of course police “don’t recommend being uncooperative with a criminal’s demands.” Brave people are hard to govern. Brave people question authority, something the cowardly little runt cops of today cannot deal with except in a Taser temper tantrum. Brave people might not NEED cops to show up in three minutes in case of a home invasion. Brave people might shoot home invaders dead, including police who break into the wrong house, something that happens WAY too often. Police used to say “Come out with your hands up; you are completely surrounded.” Today, they think it more fun to charge in and shoot people who don’t understand what is happening.
      Suggestion for all: don’t even CALL the police. Shoot the home invader and call your LAWYER.

    • Titus

      Since when is it wrong to include ALL descriptions of a suspect in a crime?

    • JW

      Second to last paragraph…The man is described as a white man in his early 20s…

    • Latch

      The man is described as a white man in his early 20s, with a black stocking cap and gray ski mask. He’s said to be about 5-foot-10, with a slender build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black nylon jogging pants.


    • Linz

      Only thing miissing is the handgun or other weapon for self/home defense……old folks can usually shoot pretty straight….look at Florida or Texas or Alaska stories…”If you want to know about *MY* opinion on gun control…….just try to break into my house.” Really simple.

    • Craig

      You know what they say,,,, When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

  • JB

    Dear Bob, they did. If they tell you it was a white male, well then you know it is a white male. If they do not give you a race, well then you know it is a “minority.”

    • knighter
    • jess

      Bull. I’ve seen many articles state if it was a black male. I’m clueless why they did not include his race in this article. It is much more helpful than “early 20’s 5’10”.

    • Kizhe

      This reminds me…
      I worked in Africa about 10 years ago. There were Russian pilots/crews and some ‘Western’ pilots working. I worked with American company. Safety conditions were poor as you may imagine. And you bet there were crashes. But what I noticed.. if there was a “Russian crash” news media said like: “‘Russian build plane crashed…”. If Western plane crashed no details of plane’s origin were usually given. Ha, Ha!

      • Titust

        In case of the Western crashes it has been already established that the major factor in the crash was gravity.

    • Ed Hillenbrand

      As in the press only gives a dirty pol’s pary if he is a republican?

    • Lori Payne

      it’s the other way around. if a race is not specified it’s a white person.
      non-whites are always described as such.

  • MB

    Word to the wise…….Don’t mess with us ‘old folks’.

    • catblue

      Yep another elderly saving themselves and/or others… Remember it was an elderly man that was nicked with a bullet and an elderly woman that put an end to the Arizona shooter!!! Most of the young in this country would just stand there dumb founded.

      • ShadowCat

        Vestor, In many cases, I’d say you are right. But, I have two kids who would take Capone’s advice; he pulls a knife, you pull a gun.
        Heck, my son would shoot until the magazine was empty, then fix bayonet and charge, while my daughter provided suppressive fire.

      • Vestor

        You have hit the nail on the head today’s young people think everything is free and that the world owes them a living (as do many others) they only have a big mouth if they can bully someone, but let the tables turn and they shiver and shake like chimps in a snow storm.


    • JohnDave

      I have a loaded gun. Anyone that even tries to break in or rob us is instantly dead.
      No trial, no jail bill, no chance to try it again. Just dead. Tits up. BTW, no Fed. or anyone else will ever touch my gun or they will be tits up also.

      • SOS4USA

        We know that break ins are possible near where we stay in the countryside, so we are practiced in how to act, what to say, and where the guns are and we keep them loaded and ready + just in case. But hope that no one pushes that, because a good swift kick in the groin may do the trick instead, and there is always the attack cats.

      • Julio Pezuka

        John Dave, you have me laughing my a$$ off right now. I could swear that I wrote this.

  • Peter

    The police are WRONG. NEVER cooperate when you are in your own castle. Good for you wally. Too bad your .45 wasn’t within reach.

    • Andy

      Hear, hear.

  • jb


    Where EXACTLY does the article say the robber was a white male?

    • Flashman

      Are you guys reading the same article I am? This one states clearly the race and description of the perp.

      Next to last para: “The man is described as a white man in his early 20s, with a black stocking cap and gray ski mask. He’s said to be about 5-foot-10, with a slender build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black nylon jogging pants.”

    • David Mcnaught
  • Mons

    “…because it is better to play it safe”?? The bad guy wants to hurt you. Why cooperate with that?

    • Tom

      Because it’s more politically correct than telling residents “If an intruder breaks into your house, break out your .45 and do us all a favor”.

      Which is exactly what I’d do.

  • Mike M

    Wally, next time have a 1911 ACP handy, (or better, a SOS if you dare), to avoid the bloody nose and do your neighbors a favor by preventing the vermin from bothering anyone else.

    • ShadowCat

      Back when I did security consultancy, I used to recommend a 20 ga. pump with an 18.75″ cylinder bore and #4 buckshot.
      Gives you a nice wide pattern, increased chances of scoring a hit, and the smaller pellets don’t over-penetrate wallboard.
      Plus, there aren’t too many folks in the world who don’t know what that slippery, metallic “clack-clack” sound means.
      Not everyone speaks English. But, they all speak Shotgun

      • proudnot2bliberal

        LOL not everyone speaks english but everyone speaks shot gun! Not thats funny! Reminds me of when I used to work security & they would play dumb no undersstand english Id say yeah understand arresto and amazingly thier english would improve and that was 25+ yrs ago.

        As for people assuming the perp was black/minority this is a result of the lazy journalism. ((5 of teh time wehn the race “just happens” to be left out the perp is a minority.

      • Michael Mulligan

        ShadowCat: Why a 20 ga.? Why not 12? #4 seems right, but 20 ga.?

      • shank

        18.57″ cylinder bore? I’m sure you meant Barrel Length. Otherwise, Thats a REALLY big bore gun. I have a 12 gauge, 18.5″ barrel pump loaded with # 4 shot. I allways recomend a 20 gauge for women…

  • gino

    Holy “Somalia” , ……….nudge, nudge, wink, wink

    • Mark W

      Far from it. I live down here near St. Charles in Winona. They advertise in Chicago to move the thugs up here and have been doing this since the 1970’s that I am aware of. One of my great friends is from Chicago and lives in the housing here in Winona and he doesn’t get why they’re more of a priority to get into the housing than even the local homeless folks.

      There are next to none Somalians living down here. And for the record, Somalians are pretty brilliant. In fact, all the ones I’ve worked with in the cities were more brilliant than even my fellow whiteys ;) Just sayin’.

      This article is obvious as we’ve had a gang of robberies and such down here in Winona by some black folks who are totally getting away with them.

      • Mark W. The Idiot


        Mark they may be smarter than you but I don’t imagine that would take too much?
        But blacks have ZERO (provable) record of ever accomplishing anything.

  • Lou Gots

    That “Please don’t hurt me,” advice from the police leaves it up to someone you already know is a very bad person. Better to be the one in control yourself.

    Studies on this have compared the results of three possible responses to criminal attack, , giving your self up to the criminal was safer than trying to fight with your bare hands, but the best strategy from the standpoint of your own safety is to resist with a gun.i

    • Tom

      Actually, barehanded resistance also decreases your chances of personl injury or property loss.

      YOU only have to survive such encounters once. THE PERP has to survive every time, so the odds are with the resisters.

  • Tony

    Police don’t recommend resisting a robber’s demands…better to play it safe. What a bunch of garbage. I guess whichever police officer said that is arrogant enough to think he/she is the only person capable of defending against a robbery.

    • SOS4USA

      Do the police practice total submissiveness to a robber or a rapist like they are advising the public to do? NO, they practice Krav Maga hand to hand fighting, and target practice and speaking with a tone of authority. So should we, and an old sheriff told me and my fellow ladies at a meeting he spoke at to get armed, because women are the #1 target of violent attacks.

  • whydothistous

    once again a race less individual committing crimes…what is the point of reporting the crimes when you wont give valuable information you have on the perp to inform the public?

    @jb It doesn’t say he is a white male that was his point! I have also noticed this to be true most of the time.

  • 1776Federalist

    A .410 full of buckshot from a Taurus Judge would have stopped the intruder for good.

    • lonfas

      Read reviews of the Judge. It’s got some issues with the way it sprays the pellets around. An 870 or 1911 is my choice.

    • JC

      .410 shot might stop a small snake. It isn’t stopping a bad guy. Especially from a pistol.

      Use a standard proven defensive caliber (9mm/.357/.38/.40/.45). Use high quality bonded hollow point ammo from a manufacturer proven in the FBI tests. Better yet, for home defense, use a shotgun and load 00, #1, or at smallest #2 shot. A slug every other round isn’t a bad idea either.

      When you make the decision to use deadly force, you have already decided that not using such force, and not stopping the attacker as quickly as possible, will render you very seriously injured or dead. No reason to get creative at that moment. .410 shot has NEVER been considered anything other than bird/clay/snake shot. Ever. Recommending a Taurus Judge, or anything like it (S&W has a similar offering now), is simply irresponsible advice.

      • Winchester/S&W

        Dude you are stupid. I have shot two doe’s with my .410 They were in my freezer when I shot them two years ago. a .410 can stop a deer. Id love to see you get shot with a .410 and live. Cuz you wouldnt. Ladies and gentlemen we have a Superman here. nothing can hurt him…and the 45/.410 pistols are a force to be reckoned with within a ten or 15 yards.

      • Dustin Hadsell

        Dude you are stupid. I have shot two doe’s with my .410 They were in my freezer when I shot them two years ago. a .410 can stop a deer. Id love to see you get shot with a .410 and live. Cuz you wouldnt. Ladies and gentlemen we have a Superman here. nothing can hurt him…and the 45/.410 pistols are a force to be reckoned with within a ten or 15 yards.

      • Manyarecalled

        “They were in my freezer when I shot them two years ago.” Sounds like they didnt have a chance if they were already frozen:)

  • eternalgreenknight

    Everyone should read Armed Response. It’s an easy read available on Amazon. When seconds count, police are minutes away.

  • Yoda

    I wish the store would have read “Elderly Couple Shoots would be robber”

    • Warhawk

      If that had been the headline it would not have been reported. Liberal news buries those stories to keep the people thinking that to only thing a gun in the home is good for is hurting your children. Gun owning Americans defend themselves regularly but it just doesn’t make the news.

      • Tom

        1,500,000 times are year guns save people. The liberal news media will not report any of it.

  • American Woman

    Where are the Police to “Protect & Serve?”

    • LEL MN

      Dear “American Woman”, police are not your personal body guard. Take responsibility for your own personal safety.

    • Charles -- Texas

      Police can’t be there until AFTER the crime. Not their fault, just life/reality. So be prepared yourself. 45 ACP/12 Ga. pump make great preperations.

    • Tom

      Police have no legal responsibility to protect you as an individual. Their duty is to protect society as a whole. This concept has been upheld in several Supreme Court decisions.

      South v. Maryland – Supreme Court ruled that local law enforcement has no duty to protect individuals, only a general duty to enforce the law.

      Bowers v. Devito – there is no Constitutional right to be protected from harm by the State

      Warren v. District of Columbia – police personnel and government are not liable for failing to provide protection to citizens. In fact, government has no obligation to provide police or fire services; government provides these services as a benefit to the community at large if it so chooses to do so.

      Hartzler v. City of San Jose – a police department and its employees enjoy absolute immunity from failure to provide police protection

      There are dozens of additional cases which all come to the same conclusion. We are responsible for our own protection and well being.

  • Benjo

    “police generally don’t recommend being uncooperative with a criminal’s demands, because it is better to play it safe.”

    Because victims increase the budgets and benefits for the boys in blue.

    Support your local cop, and make SURE he supports your right to defend yourself in your own castle. Just say no to criminals!!

  • Bob Boogie

    Ron Paul is a nut case racist, dump him too.

    • Brian

      As a constituent in Ron Paul’s congressional district in TX, I can assure you that Ron Paul is neither a nut case, nor a racist. But I gather from your comment, that you are an idiot. You just can’t cure stupid.

    • BuRgEoNyT

      Yeah, right….Ron Paul is a total racist; just look at all the legislation he has introduced to stop the abortion of nearly 1,800 black babies a day. What a nut case, huh? Trying to stop the trend of 52% of black people never being born.

      Your critical thinking skills are phenomenal.

  • joe

    “I wish the story would have read “Elderly Couple Shoots would be robber”


  • Aunt Bee

    We have millions of dangerous degenerates now in this country.

  • jimmr

    Remember the cops are an extension of the government, not an autonomous force.
    The government state or federal makes the laws that allow and even direct the police to do things that violate our rights. And do not forget the courts that tie the hands of the honest police trying to prevent or solve crimes by giving the doer more rights than the injured party.So you might want to thank you friendly honest politician and the bar association the produces and endorses the judges for much of what you blame on the cops, My son is a disabled cop shot in the line of duty – for fairness of disclosure.
    And here here to the suggestion of a 45acp in defense of our castle, or does Minn. allow that most basic of rights?

  • Daily Pundit » Bill Quick Recommends….

    […] An Elderly Couple’s Defiant Stand Against Armed Robber « CBS Minnesota The man is described as in his early 20s, with a black stocking cap and gray ski mask. He’s said to be about 5-foot-10, with a slender build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black nylon jogging pants. […]

  • BHarrington

    I KNOW WHO IT IS………………….well it’s between 4 of my friends…….Steve-Chang-Pedro and Darious! Please Mr. News person, report the facts and just the facts and leave your pathetic “Politically Correct nonsense” at home!

  • porchhound

    You call people SHEEP and we are supposed to believe you would actually put your life on the line…you people use your clipboards more than your guns and act MOSTLY as TAX COLLECTORS via traffic fines etc. Go have a donut at your UNION HALL.

  • Connie

    LOL… I’m hearing ya, Bob, I’m hearing ya!

  • Robertf

    In 1856 the U.S. Supreme Court declared that local law enforcement had no duty to protect a particular person, but only a general duty to enforce the laws. [South v. Maryland, 59 U.S. (How.) 396, 15 L.Ed., 433 (856)]. The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you no right to police protection. In 1982, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, held that:.. there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. …In other words, the Supreme Court of the Unit4d States says that it is up to YOU to “protect yourself”, as local police do NOT have a duty to protect your life. So, there are several names I can think of you can rely upon for home protect…Colt, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Taurus, and a number other fine gents that will add their power to protect you when the police won’t or cannot be there!

    • donfitness


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