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Opinion/Editorial: 3 against 1 (or 2)

Opinion/Editorial: 3 against 1 (or 2)

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Walking Stick Defense

Dan Donovan, joined by his wife, Barbara, holds the antique shillelagh he used to chase burglars from the couple’s home on Nov. 17 in Niles, Ill.

An 81-year-old man who whacked a burglar over the head with a shillelagh showed great courage and presence of mind.

Unfortunately, so did the thief, who refused to drop the pillowcase full of items he’d stolen from the bedroom.

Dan Donovan, who lives with his wife in suburban Chicago, fell victim to the “utility worker” scam. A man knocked on their door, saying he needed to check their fuse box due to a fire in the area. They led him to the box’s basement location — then Barbara Donovan heard noises upstairs.

No slouch in the courage department herself, she raced upstairs, followed by her husband — and the so-called utility worker.

Mr. Donovan began trying to chase away the three thieves, one of whom was holding a pillowcase stuffed with loot — but he wasn’t having much luck until he grabbed his grandfather’s old walking stick.

“That turned out to be the equalizer, because I managed to chase them out of the house,” he told the Pioneer Press newspaper group.

He chased them all the way to their SUV, in fact, hitting one man on the head and whacking the vehicle a time or two for good measure.

Oh, and in case you think that an 81-year-old man armed with a stick is no match for three criminals, consider this: Mr. Donovan is a retired Marine.

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