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.

More from Alexandria Hoff

One Comment

  1. Mike Miller says:


    Alexandria Huff! You call yourself a journalist and DON’T GIVE A DESCRIPTION OF THE SUSPECT?!

    This political correctness of yours just plain sucks!


  2. I am surprised they did not call the criminal a “teen”.

  3. What kind of a world do we live in? A 88 year old woman is almost raped? I thought old women are ignored and invisible, I guess not

  4. John Oakman says:

    of course he’s an odummer son.

  5. No description? What the hell?

    1. Brus Al says:

      Surely a Quaker (NOT!).

      1. So there’s a sketch in the video – no one says a word about the demographic, nothing appears in the article, but he’s clearly black. And attempted to rape an elderly white woman. Whenever you read about these elderly women getting raped the perp is almost ALWAYS black. You have to hunt for it – the media never makes it easy – but you can figure it out if you try. Un-freaking-believable.

    2. flat nose big lips brillo pad head

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

    Farking unbelievable.

    1. Jeff Lucas says:

      Exactly?? How the heck is that conclusion reached. Two random attacks over 5 days, and the suspect is still at large. But no threat. Stupid.

  7. theotherhanddude says:

    So, he didn’t really attempt to rape her before she told him that story. Probably wise just to make certain. There are some sickos out there, but not every strong arm home invader is that hard up.

    1. I agree not every “strong arm” home invader is a rapist but they are all shotgun fodder once they enter the house. Removing her clothing was a sexual assault and in my view an attempted rape by any reasonable standard (If some dude stripped your clothes off and threw you on the bed what would you think is coming next?). Good call on her part. Her next good call would be to buy a shotgun and learn how to use it.

    2. That attacker is too dumb to realize that there’s no possible way for this woman to live that long with HIV and could had died a long time ago. Smart woman and I respect that.

  8. Cowardly googles don’t care how old their victims are.

  9. Perhap she should have bite him HARD

Comments are closed.

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