Man rises from wheelchair to fight crime

September 22, 2009 2:53:45 PM PDT
An 88-year-old man in the Union County borough of Kenilworth who refused to be a crime victim showed how adrenaline pursing through your system can make you do just about anything. Like get out of a wheelchair.

The Sciciones say the 18-year old stranger at their door last Sunday weaved a pretty good tale, that the church across the street sent had her to see if they needed anything.

"I'm thinking, I don't need anything," Bill Scicione said. "I have my bible, I don't need anything."

They invited her in, and her game was on. She convinced them to put Marty away. The couple didn't notice the SUV in the driveway, with several people inside.

The couple thinks that while the girl was in their house, she was relaying information to her partners in crime. She apparently had her phone in her shirt, and they could hear when she coaxed the couple into the kitchen.

That was the burglars' cue to come in and steal the couple's safe.

"They came in and knew just where to go," Bill's wife, Mary Scicione, said.

But Bill didn't see the thieves until they were outside with his safe.

"When I got up, oh my God, I went out like the devil," he said. "I don't know how I did it."

Bill uses a motorized chair or a cane. But not that day.

"I ran and ran," he said. "I pushed the lady to get my safe. They were scratching me. I pushed them. I want my safe!"

The group left empty-handed in a black Lexus SUV, possibly with Pennsylvania plates.

Police have no suspects. They warn seniors to call police if strangers show up at the door, and not to put their lives in jeopardy over material goods.

Mary is glad her husband wasn't seriously hurt.

"So happy nothing happened," she said. "I always knew he was a good guy."

The couple is getting ready to celebrate 61 years of marriage this Friday.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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