MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sunday afternoon was beautiful in St. Paul, so Rebecca Larson decided to spend it outside washing her car.
Her daughter, Melissa Hickman, was inside taking a nap.
But around 3:30 p.m., when Rebecca walked back into the house to get something, she was greeted by a stranger.
“And I looked over at the table, and my purse had been just ripped open. My wallet was hanging out,” Larson said.
The man, police said, was Marty Mark Childs. He was holding Larson’s cash.
But for Larson, it was never a question of letting him go and calling police.
“No, you come in my house uninvited like that and…I was not going to ease up,” she said. “I was not going to let him go.”
When Larson tried to lock him inside, police said he attacked her.
That led to an all-out brawl with Larson eventually pinning him on the floor with her knee in the back of his neck.
At the same time, she yelled for her daughter to get her pink handgun.
“I was impressed,” Hickman said. “She had him down on the ground by the time I got here.”
Hickman held the man at gunpoint while her mom called police, forming a kind of mother-daughter Cagney and Lacey.
Police arrived and took Childs into custody.
Larson and Hickman say they wouldn’t hesitate to do what they did again.
“I’m not out to be a hero, I’m just out to protect what is ours and let people know that they need to stand up to people,” Larson said.
Hickman added: “If you have the ability and you are confident in what you are doing, you should fight back.”
Childs has a history of burglary convictions, including a string of break-ins five years ago.
Hickman had taken a conceal-and-carry class and has a permit.
Police usually recommend leaving the criminals for authorities to handle. But they said in situations where someone is in your house, it’s up to you to figure out the best way to keep your family safe.
Larson and Hickman are calling their handling of the attempted robbery “pink gun justice.”