An intruder entered an apartment building for seniors Monday night and messed with the wrong woman in a takedown that has even impressed the Fontana Police Department.

Eighty-two-year-old Elizabeth McRay, who was struck in the neck by the man, is home from the hospital after the attack at her residence. She was smiling as she embraced the friend who may have saved her life.

“I think she is very brave,” she said.

Lorenza Marruja, a 67-year-old martial arts expert, first greeted an intruder in her apartment with a bat.

“I told him to back off or I was going to hurt him,” Marruja said.

The intruder left and headed to McRay’s apartment and that’s when Marruja decided to follow. Authorities said that when the intruder entered the apartment, he turned off the lights.

“I started to scream and he hit me in the neck,” said McRay.

“I told him if he doesn’t leave or leave her alone I was going to do some damage that he’s not going to appreciate,” Marruja added. “He was trying to break away and I had his hand and I twisted. He kept crying out ‘you’re hurting me’ and I said ‘I don’t care.’”

Authorities say the intruder remains in custody and faces a charge of elder abuse.

“She saw her friend getting hurt and she jumped in. It’s not something we recommend but in this case, perfect,” said Fontana police. “She held him down and she was a hero and saved her friend.”


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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