He Tried To Take Wilhelmena Griffin's Keys, But Got More Than He Bargained For

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s never advised to fight back against a robber, but a 92-year-old woman did just that in the Bronx earlier this week.

While you’d never know it from her looks, you wouldn’t want to tangle with Wilhelmena Griffin.

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“I’m a little shaky, a little shaky,” Griffin told CBS 2’s John Slattery. “I had to fight. You can’t just let a person attack you.”

The feisty woman, born in 1920, lives in the Eastchester Gardens public housing development in the Allerton section of the Bronx, where she was targeted at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, police said.

She’d just taken out her trash and was followed back into the building at 1160 Burke Ave., by a young man with a bicycle, police said.

“When he saw I wasn’t getting on the elevator, that’s when he came out with his two fists. He hit me in the head, and all in back and all over; he was beating on me,” she said. “He started hitting me in the back and in the the head and everything. He must have had a metal because my head had a knot up here.”

Griffin said the man was trying to steal her keys.

“But he couldn’t get the keys, so I was beating him in the face,” she said. “I was beating him in the face, so after he saw he couldn’t get nothing, he ran out of the building.”

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Griffin suffered a black eye, and bruises to the shoulder and elbow. Her family was shocked.

“Whatever life she has left, you know, it’s like he tried to take her life,” said her daughter, Cheryl Griffin-Bonds.

Police recovered the man’s cap. He is said to be 21 years old, 5-foot-8, with a blue bike.

“Oh man, I think he’s the scum of the earth,” said Griffin’s grandson, Jimmy Bonds. “He has no respect, first of all, for women, and, second of all, for somebody that old. She’s 92. What are you doing beating on a 92-year-old woman?”

Police had little to go on as of Wednesday evening – a vague description and no surveillance pictures.

Though Griffin suffered minor injuries, the thief was unable to steal anything.

If you were in Ms. Griffin’s position, would you have fought back? Tell us below…

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