82-year-old woman fights off would-be robber in Tarpon Springs

Jennifer Kearin

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) – An 82-year-old Tarpon Springs woman fought off a would-be robber on Monday.

Police say Mary Barrineau had just withdrawn cash from the Bank of America on East Tarpon Avenue. When she was headed to her car, police say Jennifer Kearin came up to her and demanded money.

“You have to fight. You can’t just let them take advantage of you and steal your money. So I took care of business,” said Barrineau.

“She grabbed my purse and she started running for her car. I ran after her. I don’t believe that I ran but I did.”

After that, Barrineau started fighting even harder.

“I tackled her in the car. She said ‘let me alone, I am going to have your money.’ I said, ‘no you’re not’ and I shoved her down and started scratching her face.”

Barrineau held Kearin down in the front seat of Kearin’s car and screamed for help.

“I took her by the blouse like this. Real tight and she said, ‘you’re hurting me, you’re hurting me, let me go, I’m not going to let you go, but you’re hurting me,’ I said, ‘that is just too bad and I’m going to hang on.’”

Two good Samaritans saw Barrineau struggling and called 911. They also used their vehicles to block the suspect in until police arrived.

Barrineau got her purse back and Kearin went to jail.

“I guess I was scared without realizing I was scared. I had to fight for my rights,” said Barrineau.

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