ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Another frightening home invasion -- this time police arrest a man who they say pushed an 80-year-old woman out of her wheelchair.
The robber broke into her south St. Louis home in broad daylight. Police describe this as one of the most egregious crimes they've ever seen. They say Brandon Welch, 20, knocked on the woman's door, asking her if he could do yard work. She said no, but that short exchange was enough to give the robber a good look at his victim -- a woman he didn't expect to fight back.
Charlotte had seen Welch just minutes earlier when he'd asked if he could rake leaves for money. She'd told him no, but he came back -- wearing a mask.
"And I heard WHOMP," she said. "He kicked the door in!"
A case of gangrene got Charlotte's left leg, and she uses a wheelchair for mobility. When she reached for her cordless phone to call police, she says the robber took out the battery.
"He said 'I want your money,' and he's going all through the house, and he knocked me out of the wheelchair," Charlotte said.
But she climbed back in, ready for a fight.
"He was going back toward the bedrooms and I was going after him, and I was hitting him in the back with my fists telling him to get out of here!" she said.
It was 10 a.m., and outside the South St. Louis Patch neighborhood, LaShonda Burrows was heading home.
"And as I'm walking to my house, I see a guy with a brown jacket on going toward the door with his shoulder, and as I'm looking I'm like, that doesn’t look right," Burrows said.
Her 911 call brought police in a matter of minutes. After a short struggle, they got their man and recovered a stun gun that they say the robber used to intimidate Charlotte. Police also turned out his pockets.
"His pockets were full of watches and jewelry," Sgt. Hal Stone, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said.
Police fear this could have ended far worse had a witness not gotten involved.
"Without her we don't know how long this victim would have been left in her house," Sgt. Stone said. "She could have been injured more or even killed."
After a brief trip to the hospital, Welch is now in jail.
"I think he's the lowest form of life on this earth," Sgt. Stone said.
Welch was formally charged with first degree burglary, second degree robbery, kidnapping, armed criminal action and felony resisting arrest.