Karate skills help woman, 22, capture burglary suspect

NEMACOLIN, Pa. — A woman’s 10 years of karate lessons are being credited with helping her subdue a man suspected of breaking into her western Pennsylvania home a half-hour into the new year.

Deborah Hughes told the Washington Observer-Reporter she was saying goodbye to guests at her home in Nemacolin after midnight when she noticed someone inside the home of her 22-year-old college student daughter, Hannah Hughes, who lives across the street.

“I ran out the door, and the only thing I could think was if I get to him, he’s not getting away,” Hannah Hughes, who had been at her parents’ party, told the paper Wednesday.

Hannah Hughes said she watched Edward William Staley, 19, of Carmichaels, throw mud and rocks on her father’s truck before she seized him by the hair and flipped him to the ground.

“She took karate for 10 years and it just all kicked in,” Deborah Hughes told the paper. “She took him down and held him in a position where he could not move. She told him, ‘Don’t move or I will break your neck.’ I thought, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening.’”

Police said Staley grabbed Hannah Hughes’ throat, causing red marks and scratches. Other relatives held Staley until police arrived.

He has been charged with burglary, trespassing, assault and other offenses.

The arrest affidavit said Staley did not respond when police first arrived and had vomit dripping from his mouth. He awoke after several minutes and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Hannah Hughes, 22, told police she had never seen Staley before. Her front door was closed but unlocked while she was at her parents’ home.

She told police nothing was missing from her home, but she did find a woman’s hoodie that Staley apparently took off while inside her bedroom.

She told the newspaper the incident left her feeling unsettled.

“I was listening to every little creak in the house after that,” Hannah Hughes said. “You just keep thinking, this is real, this happened.”

Staley did not have a defense lawyer listed in court records and did not appear to have a listed phone number.


Information from: Observer-Reporter, http://www.observer-reporter.com


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