Sunday, Jul 24, 2016
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Lake Township woman, 73, escapes after confronting teen burglars

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Eula Bennett, 73, stands by a hole in her home's wall, believed to have been made after burglars shot inside her house.

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Eula Bennett was watching CNN about 3 a.m. yesterday when she heard a noise. Then her dog barked.

The 73-year-old Lake Township woman said she walked into her kitchen and came face-to-face with two masked teenagers. One was holding a gun. He said he was going to rob her, and then kill her.

"I've never had such an ordeal like this before," she said yesterday afternoon shortly after Lake Township detectives had finished searching her home a second time for evidence. "I've never had a shock like this before in my life."

The widow with eight children said the boys repeatedly asked her where she kept her purse and wallet.

"I didn't answer them on that because I didn't want to give them my purse because of my Social Security card," she said. "I didn't want them to steal it."

"They said, 'Lady, we've come here to rob you and then we're going to kill you,' " Mrs. Bennett said.

The younger boy raised his gun to her face, but she reached up and moved it away from her head.

"I took the gun and moved it out of my face and said, 'You're not going to shoot me in the face,'•" she said. "Then he shot at me. I don't know if they were trying to scare me or not, but they done a good job of it."

Mrs. Bennett claims the suspect fired three shots in her direction, but missed her. He then shoved her to the floor and the pair started ransacking her home.

Mrs. Bennett took that as her opportunity to sneak out of harm's way.

"When [his] back was to me, I thought, 'Oh Lord, this is my chance to get outta here,' " she said.

"I slipped out my front door and ran over to my neighbor's," Mrs. Bennett said.

She then called police, who were at her home within minutes. They searched the area, but did not find the suspects, who police believe fled the scene on foot.

Mrs. Bennett said she could not find anything missing from the home she's lived in for at least 40 years - except a clean floor.

"They brought a ton of mud in my house," she said. "Me and my daughter have some cleaned up, but there's still a lot in here yet."

Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer said the two suspects are described as white male teenagers.

The suspect who shot the gun looked to be about 14 or 15 years old, 5-feet, 3-inches tall, and thin. He last was seen wearing a red coat and red ski mask.

The other suspect is described as about 15 or 16 years old and 5-feet, 6-inches tall with a heavy build. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt and black ski mask.

Township detectives were at Mrs. Bennett's house yesterday afternoon along with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification to continue investigating the incident, the chief said.

Detectives found pry marks on the back door and a small hole in an inside wall, which they made into a larger hole while searching for a bullet.

Because no bullets were found, detectives swabbed the wall for gunpowder residue to determine if the hole was made by a bullet. BCI should have those results today, Chief Hummer said.

If gunpowder residue is detected, detectives will cut a hole near the bottom of the wall to try to recover a bullet that may have gone into the wall and fallen to the ground.

And what about Mrs. Bennett's dog, a Shih Tzu named Scooby? He headed for a spot under the kitchen table when the shooting started.

"He doesn't like gunshots," Mrs. Bennett said.

Contact Erika Ray at:

eray@theblade.com

or 419-724-6088.

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