Woman, 87, tried to fight off intruder with cane

shooting: Mary Rock struck man looking to steal her car

The Associated PressJune 22, 2012 

SPOKANE — Mary Rock says she wasn’t about to give up her car without a fight.

The 87-year-old woman told The Spokesman-Review that she fought back this week against a man who authorities say shot two sheriff’s deputies.

Police said Charles R. Wallace, 41, broke down her back door, ripped her phone off the wall and demanded her car keys after the shooting Tuesday. Rock said she used her cane to beat on Wallace as she shouted for him to leave her north Spokane house.

“He was a big man,” Rock told paper Wednesday. “Oh, was I scared.”

Police said Wallace, 41, broke in to Rock’s home shortly after he shot and wounded two deputies during a traffic stop. Authorities say he then led police on a wild chase in Rock’s car, shooting at pursuing law enforcement officers before crashing just outside of Deer Park and killing himself with a gunshot to the head.

Rock said she was in her living room watching television and sorting mail when she heard a commotion in her kitchen. She went to investigate and found Wallace standing there after apparently breaking down her back door.

“I said, ‘What are you doing in my house? Get out of my house.’”

Rock said she reached for the phone to call 911, but Wallace ripped it out of the wall, then demanded the keys to her car.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, this man means business,’” she said. “I began hitting him with my cane. I says, ‘Get out of my house,’ and he was shoving me. He pushed me down. I said, ‘You can’t have my car, I need my car.’”

The struggle continued into her living room, where the intruder found her fanny pack containing her house keys, car keys and cellphone.

Wallace dragged her out into the driveway, witnesses said, hitting her with the butt of his gun, but she continued to fight back, striking him with her cane.

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service