67-Year-Old Woman Takes Down Intruder With Her 26 Years Of Martial Arts Training

Ryan Ford 6 Oct 2020

Nobody knows for certain how they'll react in a crisis situation until they're in the moment. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't prepare ahead of time.

And as Lorenza Marrujo showed in a recent encounter, that preparation really paid off — both for yourself and for others — when she turned the tables on an intruder.

Marrujo is far from an imposing sight at first glance.


Just don't go judging this book by her cover. The 67-year-old Marrujo stands just 4' 10" tall and weighs in at about 100 pounds but as an intruder discovered, she's no shrinking violet.

As The San Bernardino Sun reported, Marrujo is no stranger to danger and when it visited her apartment complex, she didn't shy away.

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When an intruder broke into her apartment, Marrujo responded by grabbing a bat.


"I said, 'Back off or I will have to hurt you,'" she recalled to The Sun. Sure enough, the intruder did back off and left her apartment.

But a short time later, Marrujo overheard a scream from an apartment two floors below hers where the intruder had decided to try his luck again on her 81-year-old neighbor.

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What the intruder couldn't have been counting on was that Marrujo holds a black belt in jiu jitsu.

Unsplash | Thao Le Hoang

She trained steadily in the discipline from 1981 to 2007, and over the years has had to put that training to work both in periods of homelessness and while working as a security guard.

When Marrujo heard her neighbor yell out, her training kicked in and she rushed down to help.

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When she arrived on the scene, Marrujo's elderly neighbor was on the floor with her assailant standing over her.

Unsplash | Jason Briscoe

After calling 911, Marrujo put herself between her neighbor and the attacker.

"I squeezed myself between her and him," Marrujo told CBSLA. "I put mama on the side, and I jumped on him and I was punching him and everything, and I had the cane against his throat."

Marrujo then took the fight to the ground. "He lifted up and tried to twist my hand, but at the same time, I twisted his and turned it around real fast and he was saying, 'You're hurting me, you're hurting me," she recalled. "And I said, 'I don't care. I don't care what happens to you. You had no right to hurt an elderly person.'"

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Police arrived shortly thereafter to take the suspect into custody.

Unsplash | Matt Popovich

Donald Robert Prestwood, 59, who is listed at 5' 10" and 170 pounds, faces a charge of elder abuse, according to The Sun.

Police don't recommend getting physically involved in such a situation as Marrujo did.

"We recommend that you dial 911 for emergency assistance, which, in this case, she did that, and she also jumped in," Jennie Venzor, a spokesperson for Fontana Police Department, told CBSLA. "What she told me is that her training kicked in, and it was like a muscle memory. She knew she had to help her friend out."

h/t: The San Bernardino Sun, CBSLA

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