A woman was forced to fend off a 35-year-old man who allegedly broke into her Sunderland home after 1 a.m. on Sunday night while she and her son were inside the home. According to police reports, Donald Walker, of Hadley, forced his way into a bedroom where the mother and son were hiding.
Walker was later arrested and charged with breaking and entering, armed assault in a dwelling, home invasion, malicious damage of property, assault and battery of a person over 60, and larceny under $250, Sunderland Police Chief Erik Demetropoulos said.
Although the woman was able to call the police, she had little time to explain the situation as the burglar had already broken in and was ransacking her home. Left without a choice and determined to defend her son, she faced the knife-wielding suspect head-on with just a letter opener.
(Photo: Sunderland Police)
Police responded quickly and were able to locate Walker not far from the home after matching his appearance with the description provided by the woman. Officers later discovered evidence on his person in connection with the home invasion, Demetropoulos said.
The suspect is being held on $150,000 cash bail at the Franklin County House of Corrections.
What should do if I’m at home when a burglar breaks in?
Get everyone out of the house, yourself included. Don’t worry about grabbing your valuables. Your laptop is not worth you or a loved one getting hurt.
If you don’t have an alarm system, call the police. Response time can vary depending on location, but you still need to call them. You’ll have to file a police report for an insurance claim anyways.
Smart thieves go into a house with a set plan. They know how they’re getting in, which rooms they’re going to, what items they want to take, how to get out, and how they’re making their getaway. Anything you do to disrupt their plan in a major way will likely cause them to leave immediately.
Set off your car alarm if you’ve got your keys on you. Loud noises can get an intruder to quickly back off.
Armed confrontation is a last resort. Use mace, or if that’s not legal in your state, use bear spray. If that’s also not an option, there’s wasp/hornet spray. Still, don’t attempt a confront the intruder unless you’re out of options.