HomeNews81-Year-Old Former Marine Uses Antique Walking Stick to Beat Burglars

81-Year-Old Former Marine Uses Antique Walking Stick to Beat Burglars

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

An 81-year-old Marine goes Semper Fi on a group of would-be burglars. The military veteran used an antique walking stick to defend himself when they tried to break into his home.

Dan and Barbara Donovan live in Niles, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. A man knocked on their door dressed as a utility worker. He wanted to check the couple’s fuse box in the basement because he said there had recently been a fire nearby. The couple decided to let the man into their home.

“We had received a letter from the electric company the day before,” Donovan told the Pioneer Press. The letter explained utility workers would be investigating power outages in the area. “So when he said he was with the electric company, we let him in.”

The Marine Grabbed His Grandfather’s Walking Stick

The couple quickly realized the man wasn’t with the power company when they entered the basement. Barbara told the outlet the man acted strangely and demonstrated odd behavior. While he pretended to inspect the couple’s electric circuit panel, his two partners entered the house. Barbara heard the floorboard squeak overhead.

“I yelled, ’Danny! Somebody’s in our bedroom!” she said.

The couple ran upstairs and confronted the three burglars. One of the men was holding a pillowcase from the couple’s bedroom. Dan sprang into action and used his military training to good use. He chased the men from the house by grabbing his grandfather’s shillelagh or antique Irish walking stick.

“I was trying to find some type of persuasive weapon,” he said. “So I picked up the Irish shillelagh and that turned out to be the equalizer because I managed to chase them out of the house.”

Using the walking stick, Dan hit one of the burglars across the back of the head. The trio ran from Dan as he chased them outside barefooted. Unfortunately, he failed to get the license plate number of the SUV they drove in. But he smacked the walking stick against the vehicle’s windshield and window as they fled.

“Hopefully they got nothing more than a headache and hopefully they pursue another occupation,” he said