It's a nightmare for anyone, having a stranger break into your home and assault you. For Mary, an 87-year-old woman living alone, it was a terrifying experience when she Charlie Wallace broke into her home Tuesday.
"How he picked on me I don't know. Why did he pick on me?" Mary said.
Mary, who didn't want to share her last name for security reasons, actually moved from Los Angeles to Spokane to escape crime 10 years ago and it worked, at least until Tuesday night.
She was sorting her mail when she heard a thump in the back of her house. Wallace had just broken down the door and was standing in her kitchen.
"He said, 'I want your car.' I said, 'You can't have my car.' So I reached for my cane and I said, 'Get out of here, you can't have my car. Get out of my house,'" Mary said.
When Mary reached for the phone to call 9-1-1 Wallace ripped it out of the wall.
"He grabbed the phone so I knew he meant business so I hit him with the cane. I hit him and hit him, and he pushed me over and knocked me down," she said.
Mary said at that point her fanny pack, with her keys and cell phone, were exposed on her couch. Wallace took them and got away. Mary later found out he couldn't outrun police as she saw images of her smashed car across the news.
Mary said she's physically OK. Her relatives are planning to take her to the doctor, but like many areas of Mary's life, she won't go without a fight.
"I don't want to go to a doctor. I don't need a doctor, but (my relative) said, 'I think you do need a doctor to reassure you,'" she said.
Mary wants to encourage older women to keep gates and doors locked and secure. She says she did that and it must have been a random act of violence when Wallace showed up at her home.