Local News

Winston-Salem grandmother scares would-be robber with broom

Posted May 18, 2014

— A Winston-Salem woman stood up to a would-be robber Thursday, despite the fact that he was better armed.

Surveillance video from the B&C Music and Trading Post on Main Street shows the confrontation between a young man with a gun and the 77-year-old store owner, Betty Johnson.

Johnson said the man demanded money, and she reacted by picking up her broom.

"I told him I'd break the broom over him if he didn't get out of here and leave us alone. And I'm calling 911," she said.

The man appears to be black, about 25 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall and about 150 pounds. He was wearing a red hat, gray hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

After Johnson's threat, he turned and ran.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Winston-Salem Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.


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  • Judy Fergerson May 19, 2014
    user avatar

    I would not dare say his mother or grandmother probably got a broom after him many times before is why the ladies actions frightened him.

  • Lightfoot3 May 19, 2014

    "See, you really don't need a gun to scare away intruders." - Obamacare returns again

    It's just the best all around tool, and in many cases, the ONLY tool that will work. An INTRUDER has already decided the confrontation is worth the risk, so they are on a different level than a normal thief or burglar.

    "I hope he will think about living a life of crime or not." - djofraleigh

    It's a great hope and wish, but not very likely to happen. He's probably already made the life of crime decision.

  • Lightfoot3 May 19, 2014

    "Well she would have been smarter just co-operating" - Grand Union

    I agree with that. I think it's still the best thing, although there are many, many cases where that didn't matter and the people were shot anyway, often before they were even given a chance to cooperate.

    "it does show that you don't need an AR-15 to scare off a Criminal." - Grand Union

    I wouldn't draw too many conclusions from this one incident. Common sense and rational logic would suggest most criminals would fear an AR-15 over a broom. And just last week we saw were an AR-15 was actually needed, given the criminal invaded a home and started shooting at the homeowner.

  • Djofraleigh Anderson May 19, 2014
    user avatar

    My compliments to the robber, who could have shot her, for having the courage to control himself and just leave rather than hurt the woman. I hope he will think about living a life of crime or not. This woman's decision to risk being shot rather than give up merchandise is a foolish example that others should not follow. I doubt she scared the robber as much as surprised him with the aggressive attitude. Again, the robber decided NOT to shoot her and bravely left the old grandma to her recklessness.

  • anon022 May 19, 2014

    Yes, SHE got lucky. I'm betting had it been someone much younger, the robber would not have left so easily empty handed.

  • Ann Rallie May 19, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Just another reason brooms should not be in the house! Statistics show that 99.999% of people who have brooms in the house get beat with them during a robbery or break in! I would be that broom had an evil looking black handle!

  • Obamacare returns again May 19, 2014

    See, you really don't need a gun to scare away intruders.

  • Plum Tuckered May 19, 2014

    I'm so glad she's got through this incident as well as she did, but I think she got lucky! Don't think that your average robber holding a (operative, I assume) gun will flinch or run.