Woman, 70, fights attacker in driveway

Published: .
Updated: .

Police are warning other women after a 70-year-old woman was attacked in her son's driveway on Lesley Avenue.
Investigators say they know of at least one other victim who may have been targeted by the same man also in her driveway in the early morning.

Police say the suspect who attacked the woman in her east side driveway Tuesday morning may have targeted a 42-year-old woman just a half hour earlier on North Bolton Avenue.
Wanda Pierce was headed to work at the City-County Building.  She never got there, though, after the suspect pistol-whipped her during a tug of war over the woman's purse.

Hindsight is  always 20/20, so if she had to do it again, Wanda Pierce might not fight back this time, if a man, pointing a gun at her, demanded her purse.

"I'd give it up in a heart beat. I'd say, 'Here.  Take it and just go away,'" said Pierce.

That's not what Pierce did when a man with a gun grabbed her purse as she sat in the passenger side of her car in her son's driveway.

She was there to pick her son up for work because they carpool together every morning.  Pierce had just gotten into the passenger side of the car and was waiting for her son to come out when someone opened the passenger side door. She thought it was her son.

"As soon as I turned my head, there we were, face to face," recalled Pierce of turning to see a man in his early twenties - who wasn't her son.

Then Pierce saw the man was pointing a gun at her and grabbing for the purse on her lap.

Pierce said she knows you're not supposed to fight back in situations where someone has a gun, but she made a different choice.

"For some particular reason, instinct told me at the same time, that's mine," Pierce said of her purse.

"I work for what I get.  You're just a young punk running around out here doing things you ought not do and you're not getting my purse," Purse said she was thinking at the time.

So Pierce held on and wouldn't let go.

"Then he told me, 'Lady give me the purse or I'm going to shoot you,'" she remembered the suspect saying to her.

"And that's when I told him, 'No you won't' and I held onto it anyway, which is wrong, I've been been taught.  But until you're in that situation, you really don't know what you'd do," said Pierce.

So Pierce put up a fight.  She's got the bruises two days later to prove it.

"I was bound and determined to keep what was mine. Didn't work," she said. 

"I only got hurt, but that's all right. At least I gave 'em a fight. I don't think he quite expected that either," she said of the suspect.

Then the man pistol-whipped Pierce.

"He hit me in the head and I knew it was bleeding, but I still held on and then I called him a nasty name which I shall not say here," said Pierce.

"I continued to hold onto the purse and he hit me here," she added pointing to her right wrist.

"And something else hit me that said, 'let go' and I let go," Pierce remembered.

Letting go of her purse was one thing, letting go of her anger at the attack is quite another.  If she gets the chance to face the suspect in court, Pierce has some things she'd like to say.

"I'd tell him, 'I hope that wherever you're going, somebody beats the living tar out of you because you deserve it,'" Pierce said she'd tell the man who attacked her.

Pierce said she didn't deserve the beating she took, even though she chose to fight back.

She'd make a different choice if she had it to do over.  

"But I didn't. I gave him a fight," said Pierce.

It's a fight this 70-year-old great grandmother won't apologize for now.

Anyone with relevant information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.