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Even if You’re Armed with a Plunger, Don’t Mess with the Church Lady

A reportedly homeless man botched a robbery, pulling a plunger “on the wrong feisty old lady."

A reportedly homeless man who tried to rob a 91-year-old congregant at the First Presbyterian Church in Pontiac Sunday got a stern reprimand rather than cash.
A reportedly homeless man who tried to rob a 91-year-old congregant at the First Presbyterian Church in Pontiac Sunday got a stern reprimand rather than cash.

Score one for the church lady.

An 81-year-old woman not only didn’t allow a man armed with a plunger handle to rob her at the First Presbyterian Church in Pontiac Sunday morning, she pointed to the door and said, “You just get out of here,” the Detroit Free Press said.

He tried to comply, but couldn’t get the door open. So he asked his intended victim, whose name was not used in the Free Press story, for her help in finding the door.

She suggested another exit and reportedly said, “and I’m going to be following you.”

With the screaming woman at his heels, the feckless would-be robber fled.

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office found him nearby with the plunger handle and two crack pipes in his possession.

The 42-year-old man, whose name has not been released, is currently in the Oakland County Jail and charges are pending. He has a long history of drug and breaking and entering convictions, and was last paroled in 2007.

The woman has been a member of the 190-year-old church since 1956 and doesn’t plan to stop going now. “I don’t want people to think it’s a dangerous place,” she told the newspaper.

Before the bungled robbery attempt, the man told the woman that he was homeless and asked for money – to which the woman responded that she shouldn’t be begging in church. That’s when he pulled the plunger on her.

The church’s administrative assistant, Julie Smith, said homeless people occasionally come to the church asking for money but she’s not aware of anyone bringing weapons inside before. She said the man obviously got a response he wasn’t expecting.

“She wasn’t going to take any crap basically,” said Julie Smith, an administrative assistant at the church. “He pulled (the plunger) on the wrong feisty old lady.”

As for the heroine of the day, her recourse is to pray and continue worshipping at the 190-year-old-church, where she’s been a member since 1956.

“He certainly needs prayer more than anybody. He’s young and healthy. He’s got a whole world before him,” she said. “Maybe God has something special for him, and maybe this will get someone there who will help him.”

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