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87-year-old fends off home intruder, offers snacks to distract him

Marjorie Perkins
Posted at 9:44 AM, Aug 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-06 09:45:11-04

An 87-year-old woman says she offered a young man who entered her Brunswick, Maine, home while she was sleeping a late-night snack to keep him busy until police arrived.

Marjorie Perkins told CNN she woke up in the early hours of July 26 to find a man standing “by my bed, no shirt on, and it was dark, and he said, ‘I’m going to cut you.’” Perkins said she jumped out of bed and picked up a chair, which she said she used as a shield.

Marjorie Perkins
Marjorie Perkins

“He kept knocking me against the wall, he put a bruise on my forehead and one on my cheek,” Perkins said.

The attack continued, Perkins said, until “he got tired of that,” at which point she said she followed the intruder, who wasn’t wearing shoes, pants, or a shirt, into the kitchen, while telling him to get out. The intruder then told Perkins that he was hungry.

“He stopped in the kitchen by the sink and said he was very hungry, and he hadn’t had anything to eat in a long time,” Perkins said.

The 87-year-old said she offered him a “box of peanut butter and honey crackers” and two tangerines, along with other snacks, citing her time as a teacher for her quick thinking.

“That was to keep him busy, what do you think? I taught school (for) 35 years,” Perkins said.

Perkins said she called 911 while he ate. When he finished, the suspect put on his pants and walked out the door but left his shoes, shirt, and knife behind, according to Perkins.

The intruder isn’t unknown to Perkins: She says she knows members of his family and that as a boy, he had mowed her lawn for cash.

87-year-old fends off home intruder, offers snacks to distract him
87-year-old fends off home intruder, offers snacks to distract him

The police in a news release did not identify the suspect or name Perkins, who is described as a resident. It says the suspect didn’t have the knife on him when he entered Perkins’ bedroom at around 2 a.m. on July 26, saying it had been “left with his belongings in another room.” The release also stated that Perkins was unharmed during the incident and the suspect had fled her home on foot, leaving behind a pair of shoes.

Brunswick police say they tracked a juvenile matching the resident’s description to a nearby residence, where he was taken into custody and then transferred to a nearby youth development center. He faces charges of burglary, criminal threatening, assault and a civil infraction: minor consuming liquor.

A Maine court clerk would not provide any updates on the charges or attorney information because the alleged intruder is a minor.