Police officers befriend 93-year-old after attack, renovate her home

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Police and code compliance officers teamed up Thursday to help a  93-year old homeowner, Margo Chauncey.

The officers befriended Chauncey, and she has quite the story.

Four years ago Tommy Mitchell offered to detail Chauncey’s PT Cruiser.

He followed Chauncey inside her house and asked for ice water. “He grabbed the money and threw me down on the toilet, and I hit my head and I was in a daze for a while,” she said.

Mitchell is serving a 15-year prison term. The crime changed Chauncey’s life.

Margo Chauncey

“I just don’t trust people like I used to, and I like to trust people. But not anymore,” she said.

Sgt. Tim Downes investigated the home invasion case and ended up becoming friends with Chauncey.

On Thursday Downes and other officers fixed up Chauncey’s home. “I won’t know my house when they get through. I tell ya, it’s unbelievable,” Chauncey said .

“We always deal with people, either we’re giving them a ticket and it’s their worst day (because) they got a ticket, or they’re a victim of a crime, or take ’em to jail,” Downes said.

He’s hoping this project shows people, police have another side. ”Community members coming together … It’s just nice to give back and help and show that we do care and we’re not just out there trying to give you a bad day,” Downes said.

Code compliance workers felt the same way. “We may not hear the kindest of words at all times, but certainly to be a part of something like this helps all of us. It a wonderful story. She’s a wonderful person,” code compliance manager Terry Teunis said.

Chauncey’s a big baseball fan so the Rays helped celebrate, sending a gift package. In addition, Chauncey’s sporting a new cane with a light-up handle.

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