Woman fights off burglary suspects

October 10, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The confrontation took place Monday afternoon in the 5500 block of North Wayne Avenue on the city's North Side.

Police say that the two male attackers had just robbed a jewelry store and were looking for a car to steal.

The victim, in her 60's, said she bit one of the men as they tried to put her in the trunk of her car.

It happened on a well-manicured block with several houses on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nick Wade was home when he heard the calls for help.

"You hear screams like that and for a second you pause, and then I heard it again and at the very end I heard call the cops," Wade said.

In a garage in the 5500 block of North Wayne police say resident Pamela Ball, who is in her 60's was fighting off 23-year-old Paris Starwalt and 30-year-old Paolo Brown.

In a newspaper interview, Ball said the men pulled a gun on her, punched her in the face, demanded her purse and then tried to put her in her car's trunk.

She said she bit one of the men's hands when he tried to muffle her screams.

"Taking advantage of her, attacking someone who's defenseless or weak just really angers me," said witness Todd Appel.

After hearing the screams, neighbors Appel and Mark Milton said they rushed to Ball's aid as the men fled the scene.

Appel says he ran after them and then got into his car to canvass the neighborhood a Milton stayed with Ball.

"I just bent down and hugged her to let her know everything was okay until police got here," Milton said.

Before the attack, police say the suspects had robbed a nearby jewelry store and Wednesday they, along with 29-year-old Felice DeSilva, appeared in bond court.

Suspects Brown and Starwalt were arrested a short time after fleeing the garage, thanks to a description Ball was able to provide.

"She was coherent," Appel said. "She was obviously in shock. But she was tough."

Milton says he was told by Ball that she once took a self-defense class.

"She said all those things just popped back in her head," said Milton. "Scream as loud as you can, whatever they want from you, throw that away from them. Don't get in a trunk."

The female victim is expected to be okay.

All three suspects have been charged with armed robbery and the two men allegedly involved in the attack are now being held without bond.

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