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A bat-wielding California woman nicknamed “Miss Kitty” impressed local police officers with her martial arts skills in fending off a home invader and protecting a neighbor on Monday.
According to local reports, Lorenza Marruja, reportedly 67, an expert in martial arts, managed to fend off an intruder using a bat after he broke into her apartment.
“As he was coming towards me, I said back off – right away,” Marruja said, according to WRBC.
“I was aiming at his head, and he backed off and said, ‘No Miss Kitty, no Miss Kitty, I’m not gonna hurt you,’” Marruja, of Fortuna, told KTLA. “And I said, ‘Get the F out of my apartment right now.”
The intruder did leave, the outlet reported, but then entered the apartment of 82-year-old neighbor Elizabeth McCray, whom he jumped on and began beating.
Moments after she fended the intruder off, Marruja heard McCray’s cries for help. The intruder had shut off the lights in McCray’s apartment and had struck her in the neck, leaving her disabled and on the floor pleading for the intruder to stop.
McCray said that Marruja charged into the apartment and, though she had forgotten her bat, she used her martial art skills to subdue the attacker.
“I squeezed myself between her and him. I put Mama on the side, and I jumped on him. I was punching him and everything, and I had the cane against his throat,” she said.
“I had him on the ground. First, I went down like to this to his chest,” Marruja said as she demonstrated what she had done. “And then this was on his throat, like that. I had my hand right here on his jaw and I was aiming toward his eyes. And he said, ‘No Miss Kitty, no Miss Kitty.’ And he got scared.”
“He lifted up and tried to twist my hand. At the same time, I twisted his and turned it around real fast. He was saying, ‘You’re hurting me.’ And I said, ‘I don’t care. I don’t care what happens to you. You had no right to hurt an elderly person,’” she added, according to WRBC.
Marruja said the intruder attempted to get up but couldn’t because she was holding him down. She also said the attacker was fortunate that she had not brought her bat with her, otherwise, it would have been worse for him.
“If I did have my bat I would’ve busted his knee caps,” Marruja, who was once dubbed “The Killer,” told KTLA.
Police officers who responded to the scene admitted they were impressed with the 67-year-old’s fighting skills, though they were quick to note they don’t recommend that home invasion victims directly engage people who break-in, and that older adults, especially, lock their doors.
“I think it helped her having some background in martial arts,” said Fontana police officer Jennie Venzor.
“When we are telling her, ‘OK, we got it. You can get off of him now…’ — it was very impressive,” she added.
KTLA reported that the attacker was arrested and charged with suspicion of elder abuse.
For her part, Miss Kitty told the news outlet that if need be in the future, she would not hesitate to risk her life in a similar situation.
“Self-defense is not murder,” she said, adding that she considers McCray to be a mother figure to her.
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