Scrappy seniors roust attacker Local victims, aged 71 and 67, fight back in S.C. motel. Attacker flees.

March 27, 1992|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,Staff Writer

A would-be robber got more than he bargained for when he accosted two senior citizens from the Baltimore area at a motel in Florence, S.C., authorities said today.

The two women -- one 71 and the other 67 -- tackled the man when he tried to push his way into their room, authorities said. The women yelled for help but the man untangled himself and ran.

A manager of the Knight's Inn on U.S. 52 identified the women as Lois McFadden, of Baltimore, and Fran Wode, of Ellicott City.

"You'd never know they were as old as their years," said Susan Wofford. "They were very attractive and had fantastic senses of humor."

The women were returning to their room at the motel Wednesday when the incident occurred, Capt. Wayne Jeffords of the Florence County Sheriff's Office, said today.

The women told authorities they never saw a gun, but felt one under the man's jacket. Deputies found several .32-caliber bullets in the room. The man jumped a fence behind the motel and got away on a bicycle.

"We haven't made an arrest," Captain Jeffords said. "We don't have much crime like armed robbery down here.

"As far as I can tell these women were just passing through," he said. "I guess they just surprised him by grabbing him. They started a screaming and shouting and the guy got scared and ran to his bicycle."

Ms. Wofford said the two women checked out of the motel yesterday. They could not be reached at their homes. "I can't imagine her doing something like that," said Charles Moland, a longtime neighbor of Ms. Wode. "She's an easy-going, laid-back kind of person."

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