Salt Lake City - The home invader was going to have to speak up.
Ninety-nine-year-old Doris Rucker Wasden was sleeping when a man entered the home and came hurtling into her bedroom. It was sometime after 1 a.m. Saturday in West Valley City, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.
For nearly two hours, the armed intruder held her hostage.
Officers from the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake arrived on the scene quickly. They had been trailing the suspected intruder after he allegedly fled a nearby shooting.
At the home Wasden shared with her granddaughter, CJ Montoya, and her granddaughter's fiance, Jim Gabbard, the suspect shot out a sliding-glass door to enter, the Deseret News reported. Montoya and Gabbard were awakened by the noise. As Gabbard investigated, he came face to face with the suspect, pointing a gun at him.
"He said, 'Give me your car keys or I'm going to kill you,'" Gabbard told local news station KSL.
The couple somehow managed to run from the gunman toward a door, where police pulled them outside. Officers told the couple they couldn't go back for Wasden for safety reasons, the couple told KSL.
And so the elderly woman was left alone with the intruder, while a SWAT team surrounded the home and hostage negotiators tried to make contact with the suspect.
Inside, the intruder yanked Wasden out of her bed, leaving her on the floor "on my bum," she told Fox 13. He returned to her bedroom a short time later to find her back in bed.
"He tried to talk to me," she told Fox 13, "but I said, 'I can't hear you. I can't hear you.' Then he realized I was a very old woman, so he was pretty nice to me after that."
It was only after she scolded him for making a mess in her home that he let her go, Gabbard told KSL. Wasden and the couple had tidied up the place up in preparation for her 100th birthday party next week.
"He was rifling through her drawers, making a mess, spilling things all over and she has her 100th birthday party one week from today," Gabbard said. "And her words to him were, 'I just had this house cleaned for my party and you're messing it up. You better knock it off."
Police identified the suspect as 18-year-old Freddy Alexander Velasquez, who was apprehended after he attempted to flee the home in a car parked inside the family's garage. He was subsequently charged with six felonies, including aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, felony discharge of a firearm and receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, according to Salt Lake County Jail records.
"I never felt afraid of him. But I and the dog were a little shaky," Wasden told Fox 13 of her small talk with Velasquez.
No one was injured in the earlier shooting which prompted police to chase Velasquez, Lt. Brian Lohrke of the Unified Police Department told WTKR.
According to jail records, Velasquez was wanted for escaping from custody last November. Authorities said he escaped a Weber County Jail work program. He had been incarcerated for assaulting another prisoner at a youth detention center in Ogden, according to the Deseret News. It was not immediately clear why he was in juvenile detention, as those records are generally not public.
Wasden and Gabbard told KSL and Fox 13 that they held no bad feelings toward Velasquez. And that Wasden's 100th birthday party would go on as scheduled.
The Washington Post