91-Year-Old Great-Grandma Fights Off Home Invader, Then Takes His Phone

“There's got to be a special place in hell for him. You just don't do that.”

Florence Graham was in her living room, watching TV around midnight when she noticed a person moving through her house along the carpet. She immediately recognized him as her neighbor, Michael Flaherty, who occasionally shoveled snow from her driveway.

Unsure what to make of the man belly-crawling across her floor, she was confused, as she told 6ABC news. She recalled, she “thought [she] heard a noise outside, but I thought it was windy. All of a sudden, I'm sitting here and he's crawling on my floor on his belly.”

Realizing his cover had been blown and identity realized, he pounced to attack her. They struggled until Flaherty was able to break free and hightail it out of the house with over $1,000 in cash and some of Graham’s jewelry.

But there was a pretty big loose end – Florence had managed to take Flaherty’s cell phone during the attack.


Once the intruder left, Graham called the police. Though she was composed, Captain Steve Steinecke conveys that it was an ugly and scary scene inside the house. He told the news he entered the home to find “an elderly woman, 91 years of age, answered the door. She had blood on her robe, blood on her hands, blood on her forehead.”

Dismayed at what he saw, he stated after the fact, “there’s got to be a special place in hell for him. You just don’t do that.”

As if Florence’s toughness and ingenuity in getting the phone wasn’t enough, the story paints a vivid picture of the apprehension of Flaherty, who didn’t take long to target with the phone and Graham’s account of events. Police found him hiding in his bedroom.

Something tells me between getting fended off by a great-grandmother and hiding in his room that this guy isn’t cut out to be a career criminal.

Unfortunately, even as the bruises and cuts heal from her deadly run-in, there’s the risk that the trauma of the senselessly violent event will haunt Florence, who lives alone.

Yet she’s expecting the best. “I’ll get over it, I hope,” she said.

Something tells me that someone tough enough to keep an intruder at bay will be able to put this terrible incident behind her.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

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