A burglar got more than he bargained for when he entered the home of a 95-year-old World War II Marine veteran and his daughter.
Gary Wells, 53, wishes he had never stepped into the home of the former Marine who had raised his 51-year-old daughter to be just as fearless.
The West Allis, MN family, who asked for their last name not to be used, said they were fortunate Wells did not have a gun.
Fred, the marine and former firefighter, says his dog started barking and alerted him to someone breaking in through a back door of the West Allis house on Dec. 4.
“He must have seen him,” said Fred. When he opened a back bedroom door, he said, “I was almost standing nose to nose with him. That was a shocker.” Fred added that the robber threatened to kill him and his dog if he didn’t hand over his wallet. “Or I’m going to kill you and kill your dog,” Fred remembered the man saying.
The marine shouted at the intruder, “Get the hell out of here.” when the man demanded Fred’s wallet.
“I wasn’t scared. I was so damn mad,” the veteran told reporters. The 95-year-old wrestled Wells to the ground before the homeowner’s daughter ran downstairs to help fight the thief off.
“I don’t remember my feet touching the steps,” so quickly did she fly downstairs to her father’s aid, said Mary. She immediately threw her arms around the intruder, hoping to keep him there until help could be summoned.
In a struggle that ranged into the kitchen, Mary got the wallet away from the burglar. She decided, however, to let him go after he drew back his fist and threatened to punch her.
Wells ran from a girl! Bwahahahaha! Coward!
Fred’s motivated daughter, Mary then took off after Wells, chasing the burglar for six blocks before catching and holding him for police. “I was mad because of what he did to my dad,” Mary said. “We jumped over two fences and ran through 12 yards,” the Marine’s daughter added.
Mary eventually caught the crook after the 53-year-old’s leg got caught on a picket fence. “It was just reflexes. I guess it rubbed off from my father.”
During the chase, the man had pleaded for her to stop, saying he was sorry.
She could hear police cars in the neighborhood, but when she saw a squad coming, Mary went into action.
“Then I got a hold of him,” she said. It wasn’t hard, as his leg had gotten caught on the top of a picket fence.
But after he was taken into custody, she chided him saying, “He fought for your freedom, and you’re doing this.”
Looking back, Mary said she could see how her father’s background as a Marine and as a firefighter explained his bold reaction to the situation. However, she was a little amazed at her own reaction. Far from being used to action, she is an event planner.
“It was just reflexes,” Mary said. “I guess it rubbed off from my father.”
Police found the alleged burglar with nine silver and gold cuff links with valuable stones, probably taken from another home. The owner is being sought.
Meanwhile, Gary G. Wells, 6024 W. Cleveland Ave., Milwaukee, was charged by the Milwaukee County District Attorney Dec. 12 with felony burglary.
I have two WWII Vets that are friends. One ran off and joined the Navy at age 16 in ’42. Worked in the steel industry for 42 years after the war. Nice fellow, but still tough as nails – I WOULDN’T wanna cross him!!!
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. ~ Abraham Lincoln
What is courage? We at JoeforAmerica do a lot of stories about veterans of all eras to show that war demands special kinds of courage, both physical and moral. There is a special willingness to risk life and limb, and the ability to face hardship with intense determination. Our veterans accepted challenges that put not only their lives, but their emotional well-being and their reputations on the line. We see from these stories that a display of courage often rubs off on others. It is a striking part of the EXPERIENCE of war.
Take some time today, and thank a veteran!
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