A sassy grandmother on the verge of her 100th birthday managed to handle a hostage situation.
When an intruder invaded Doris Rucker Wasden's home in West Valley City, Utah, her smart mouth and calm attitude helped her family escape unharmed. After yelling at her 18-year-old kidnapper for making a mess before her party, the young criminal left the house of his own accord, according to The Washington Post.
The invasion began at about 1 a.m. on March 24. Police had been following 18-year-old Freddy Alexander Velasquez after he had fled from a nearby shooting. Velasquez had broken into Wasden's home (shared with her granddaughter, CJ Montoya, and her granddaughter’s fiance, Jim Gabbard) by shooting through a glass door.
“He said, ‘Give me your car keys or I’m going to kill you,’ ” Gabbard said to KSL.
The couple escaped from the house, leaving Velasquez alone with Wasden. SWAT teams arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and attempted to negotiate with Velasquez for hours.
“He tried to talk to me,” Wasden 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 ... I never felt afraid of him. But I and the dog were a little shaky.”
Wasden proceeded to chastise the invader.
“He was riffling 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.’ ”
Eventually, perhaps due to Wasden's berating, Velasquez attempted an escape. He tried fleeing in a stolen car from the house and was apprehended.
Velasquez has been 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. He had previously escaped from a Weber County jail work program, after being jailed for assaulting another inmate at a youth detention center in Ogden. The details of the assault are unclear, as youth detention records are sealed. He has not yet filed a plea pertaining to the most recent charges.
Wasden's family were left unharmed from the incident and still plan on celebrating the senior's 100th birthday. They say they have no ill will towards Velasquez.
"Grandma’s disposition is what she’s taught us: that you can’t have animosity and you can’t be angry with the young man," said Wasden's grandson to Fox13. "He made a mistake and we don't hold resentment, and we just hope that he gets some help and hope that his family is okay."
[Photo: Salt Lake County jail]