Doreen Jones is a tough lady who has been living alone for 13 years and caring for herself. And she knew exactly how to protect herself.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 31, 2019. It has since been updated.
When we think of someone who is 80+ years old, we imagine them to be frail and vulnerable, but clearly, not every octogenarian is the same. Especially not Doreen, an 81-year-old widow from West Midlands, UK. She proved that age is just a number when she was forced to defend herself from an attacker.
Doreen Jones, a grandmother, was at a cash machine in Blackheath High Street, West Midlands on May 20, 2019 when she was attacked by a young woman. The woman initially tried to beg for money but later used force to try and steal from the pensioner's withdrawal. The incident was captured on CCTV footage and showed the twice-widowed retired car factory welder fighting off the mugger. Surprisingly, nobody came to her aide when she was fighting off the mugger all alone.
"She wasn't expecting me, I tell you. She was expecting somebody more vulnerable, and they picked the wrong one when they picked Doreen," she told BBC Crimewatch, a TV show, according to Daily Mail. She added that her determination came from how hard she had to work for the pension. "I thought, 'No, you're not having my money, I've worked hard for that,'" she said.
The young woman had tapped Doreen on the shoulder initially to beg for food or money. She tried to give Doreen a piece of paper but was dismissed. The 81-year-old just wanted to get her pension cash from the machine in peace. However, what happened next was shocking. The woman just jumped forward pushing the pensioner aside in a bid to grab the money and the bank card.
The grandmother showed courage in the moment of danger as her instincts told her to defend herself. Not many older adults would be able to succeed in doing what she did. She grabbed her card and pulled the woman back which is when the assailant started screaming. "I don't know why she was screaming. I was the one who should have been screaming," said she.
After the moment passed, Doreen collapsed on the street and an ambulance was called for her. The incident has left lasting scars on her mind and body. She has suffered heart attacks and becomes anxious when she goes back to that street.
"They just think of what they are going to get," she said of her attacker, who hasn't been apprehended. "They don’t think about what it does to the person after," she said, according to Metro UK.
The tough woman has been living alone for 13 years after her second husband, Roy, died of cancer. Her first husband, John, died of a heart attack. Having lived alone so many years coupled with her profession of being a welder has made her one hardy woman, who is looking forward to moving on from the incident.
"You have to get on with your life and do what you can, as much as you can, and enjoy life while you've still got it," she said.
Meanwhile, the police in the area have released the CCTV footage to nab the culprit and have been seeking information. Police Sub Inspector Peter Rawlins said, "She may do this again. If you see her acting suspiciously by a cash machine then contact us."
He also acknowledged the bravery of the older woman. "Doreen is a tough lady and this suspect picked the wrong pensioner, but she has had heart problems since the incident," he said.