When a man broke into Karen Dolley’s Indianapolis home early Friday morning, she fought back — with a Japanese-style sword.
Dolley told the local Indiana NBC station WTHR that she had just gone to sleep when she heard the intruder. She said that she could tell that he was on drugs.
"My instincts just took over and I started punching him in the face about 8 to 10 times, yelling, ‘Get out! Get out,'" Dolley said.
The 43-year-old was able to force the man into a back room where she called 911. When she reached into the wrong drawer and couldn’t find her gun, she grabbed the next best thing — her sword.
“I put it at his back and told him to get down and he got down flat on the ground,” Dolley said.
They remained like that until the police arrived, though at one point, he appeared to be reaching into his pocket.
“I said ‘You take your hand out of your pocket, put it in front of you, or I will run you through. I know how to use this,’” Dolley said. She told the Indianapolis Star that she was glad that she didn’t have to.
Dolley’s skill with weaponry stems from her experience with the Society for Creative Anachronism, a Middle Ages reenactment group. There she learned swordplay and practiced against large opponents.
She’s involved in roller derby with the Naptown Roller Girls, playing under the name “Foul Morguean,” reported the Star.
Police arrived shortly after the 911 call to take Jacob Wessel, 30, into custody. According to the Star, he apologized to Dolley on his way out.
Now Dolley has advice for others who experience a similar situation, saying that if there isn't the opportunity to flee then "make it as miserable for the person as possible."
"Punch them in the face, gouge their eyes, punch them in the throat, rip their ear off, take out their knees, do whatever you can, make as much noise as possible, and just go at them,” she told WTHR. “Go at them because you are fully within your rights to protect yourself.”
Protect America, a home security company that operates across the country and in Canada, however, warns against confronting the intruder.
"Engaging in a confrontation is more dangerous than finding an escape route or getting out and contacting the police," said Tim Krebs, the public relations manager for Protect America.
"We hear from people who have been burglarized all the time and every once in a while it’ll be a home invasion story and some of them are quite violent," Krebs said. "So we don’t ever suggest that people should engage with someone who is breaking into their house."