Lorenza Marrujo grabbed a baseball bat when she realized someone had broken into her home.
Marrujo, 67, who studied jujitsu for over two decades, said Donald Robert Prestwood, 59, broke into her apartment at a complex for seniors in Fontana on Monday, according to The San Bernardino Sun. She said she warded him off with a baseball bat and he left.
Police said Prestwood then assaulted 81-year-old Elizabeth McCray, Marrujo’s neighbor and friend, the publication reported. Marrujo said she used her martial arts skills to take him down.
“I had to bend his fingers back … to get him off her. He was screaming because that’s one of my techniques, the bent fingers. Then I went ‘boom’ with my elbow twice in his sternum,” Marrujo said.
“I didn’t expect that little lady would be that brave,” McCray said about Marrujo, according to CBS Los Angeles. “I said, ‘Could you be careful, he’s gonna kill us.’ She said, ‘Not tonight.’”
McCray was treated at the hospital and released a day later, according to the TV station.
“We recommend that you dial 911 for emergency assistance, which, in this case, she did that, and she also jumped in,” Jennie Venzor, spokesperson for the Fontana Police Department, said. “What she told me is that her training kicked in, and it was like a muscle memory. She knew she had to help her friend out.”
Prestwood was arrested and faces charges of elder abuse, according to inmate records.
He is being held on $150,000 bail at West Valley Detention Center, records show.