Lejune Timmerman, 73, reached for the first thing at hand — a flagpole flying Old Glory, when a stranger jumped the fence into her yard Monday morning and attacked her brothers.
“I grabbed my glory and (started) beating the hell back,” Timmerman said, KUTV reported. “I whooped his a– and I’ll whoop it again.”
Timmerman hit the man so hard she broke the flagpole, then retreated inside with her family, the South Salt Lake Police Department said in a Facebook post.
The intruder kicked in the door and continued attacking them until police arrived, officers wrote on Facebook.
Police said they arrested Justin Scott Smith, 42, on suspicion of aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, criminal mischief and assault.
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But Timmerman was concerned that she’d desecrated the U.S. flag when it hit the ground after the flagpole broke, officers wrote.
“I told them, ‘Hey, I didn’t mean to disrespect my flag, but he was hurting me and beating me,’” Timmerman said, KUTV reported.
Police returned to her home Tuesday morning with a new American flag for Timmerman to fly, the Facebook post says. The officers had taken up a collection to buy the flag for her.