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New Hampshire woman fends off intruder with her walker

Mark Hayward / Union Leader

Candace Neal told Manchester, N.H., police she used her walker to fend off an armed man who burst into her apartment.


A 50-year-old New Hampshire woman who once worked as a deputy sheriff and a corrections officer hit a robber with her walker when he broke into her home on Sunday, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.

Candace Neal told the Union Leader she needs the walker to get around because she became disabled about a year ago due to back problems. About two weeks ago, she said she also had surgery for a diabetes-related infection in her right foot.

A masked intruder armed with a knife burst into Neal's home Sunday afternoon, charging at her and a friend who was visiting, she said.

"I mean, I just looked up, and here was this guy running at us," Neal told WMUR.com in New Hampshire.

"My girlfriend tried to get in the middle of him and I and he punched her and threw her away, you know? Then I fell back on the bed and held my walker up and then I started hitting him with it, particularly trying to hit the knife," she added.

The robber got away with Neal's purse, which she thought she had managed to kick under the bed and hide, the Union Leader reported. The bag contained Neal's ID, $200 in cash and a month's worth of Oxycodone, methadone, muscle relaxants and the anti-stress medication. The powerful painkillers had been prescribed to Neal following her foot surgery.

"I'm quite sure that that's what they were after, was my prescriptions," she told WMUR.

Police are searching for the suspect, who is described as a white male in his 30s, about 6 feet tall with an athletic build. He was last seen wearing tan pants and a navy blue zip-up hoodie sweatshirt. A blue bandanna was covering his face during the break-in.

“I was almost helpless. If I didn't have the walker, I'd have nothing,” she told the Union Leader. “I was just trying to defend myself and my stuff.”

Neal, who told the Union Leader she has worked a variety of jobs, including deli worker, deputy sheriff and a corrections officer, said she would be moving out.

"This neighborhood is declining," she told WMUR.

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