88-Year-Old Woman Recounts Fighting Off Attacker: ‘I Told Him I Had HIV’

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS)–Helen Reynolds should not be underestimated.

On Feb. 17 at 3 p.m., Reynolds had just returned from the store when a young man knocked at the door of her Chester County home.

“He pushed himself in,” she said.

This began a burglary and assault that would last three hours. She says the man started by rummaging for cash, taking just $40 before duct taping her hands, head and mouth.

“I said, ‘Would you do this to your mother to bother her like you are doing me?'”

“Shhh,” the suspect told the woman.

According to Reynolds, the suspect removed her clothing and threw her face first onto the bed.

She tried to kick him in the groin.

“Maybe I really hurt him. I don’t know and I really don’t care,” said Reynolds.

The 88-year-old then says she relied on quick thinking to ward off a sexual assault.

“That’s when I told him that I had HIV and my husband died of it, which is a lie. He didn’t bother me. That’s when he got out his piece of wire that he had in his pocket with the tape and everything and tied my ankles together,” said Reynolds.

This violent incident occurred just five days before a similar home invasion that took place 14 miles away in East Brandywine Township. That’s where police say a 72-year-old woman was knocked out, bound and beaten by a young male intruder.

Investigators say the suspect fled with the victim’s vehicle. The woman, who had been locked in a closet, was not found for four days. The 72-year-old was immediately hospitalized.

Teen Arrested After Woman, 72, Found Beaten, Bound 4 Days After Being Robbed

Once the suspect fled Reynolds’ home, she was able to chew through the duct tape and alert a neighbor.

“It was all about me and my God and he helped me out,” she says.

Helen’s messages to women her age is to never stop fighting.

While police have not yet made an arrest in the two cases, they have indicated that there is no immediate threat to the public.

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