Monday, January 12, 2009

Arkansas: 87-year-old scares man

Batesville, Arkansas

From the Batesville Daily Guard of January 12, 2009
87-year-old scares man

Altha Rider usually keeps a .38 pistol by her bedside. Thursday night, the 87-year-old woman was ready to use it.

It wasn’t long after Rider went to bed Thursday night that someone tried to kick in the front door of her home at 65 Brushy Road, she told an officer, whom she met at the carport door with pistol in hand.

In a phone interview this morning, Rider told the Guard she is still a little shaken by the incident.

Rider said she had gone to bed around 9 p.m. with a light on in her den, and was awakened by the sound of her front door being kicked in around 10.

“When I heard the racket I screamed and then got up to see what happened,” Rider said. “I couldn’t see anyone, so I got up and went lookin’.”

Rider went looking with the .38 pistol that she keeps by her bedside for protection. She said she also has a .410 shotgun, but realized that would only give her one shot before she would have to reload.

According to Rider, the intruder had tried unsuccessfully to gain entry through a back door before going to the front of her home. The bottom half of the door was broken and splintered from the dead bolt down.

“He unlocked my storm door to get to the wood door,” Rider said. “But he didn’t get the door open — the door lock held.”

After not seeing anyone around her house, Rider said she called a family member, who then called police.

“They (police) were here right away and looked around, but they couldn’t find anybody,” Rider said.

The following day, an arrest was made and a missing person case was closed.

Police say Keith Eugene White, 31, of Batesville, reported missing since Nov. 25, 2008, was reportedly caught on McHue Road Friday morning.

This burglary occurred, police say, following the break-in attempt at Rider’s home.

According to Lt. Brenda Bittle, White was caught when deputies responded to a break-in on McHue Road.

“A key holder went to check on the house and found a door kicked in,” Bittle said. “When deputies arrived they searched the house and found White inside,” Bittle said.

“He had in his possession several items taken from other homes in the area Thursday night,” Bittle said.

White was arrested without incident and taken to jail, where he confessed to several burglaries and is a suspect in several more, Bittle said.

“He was out of prison on parole for burglary,” she said.

White is being held on a “no bond” parole hold pending formal charges.

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