Feel-Good Story of the Day: Woman Beats Back Burglar With Bat

An East Tennessee woman recently turned out to be the wrong victim for a would-be burglar. The unnamed 52-year old answered a knock on her door to be greeted with a woman handing out flyers for a lost dog. As she opened the door further, a masked man stepped into the doorway and tried to push her inside.

The two then struggled and the woman partially removed the suspect’s mask and recognized him as Joe M. Sotello, a longtime family friend.

After seeing what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband, the victim grabbed a baseball bat from behind the door and fought back in “clearly justifiable self-defense,” according to a Kingsport Police release.

Two 18-year-old women who were also inside the home then joined in driving Sotello out of the house and onto the front lawn. The woman who had been holding the flyer, later identified as Sotello’s girlfriend, drove off.

“Mr. Sotello attempted to get into the car with her; however, he could not escape the three women who continued to get the better of him,” the release noted.

The battered burglar eventually ended up at the home of a family member of the victim where he was eventually detained by police. A police spokesperson noted that the victim was a full foot shorter than her attacker. Sotello’s mug shot indicates he got sharp end of the stick in the confrontation.

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