Woman stops intruder with medieval combat training, sword

Karen Dolley (Photo: Indy Star)

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (WTNH)– An Indiana woman used her medieval combat training and a sword to stop a home intruder Thursday night.

According to the Indy Star, 43-year-old Karen Dolley woke up around midnight to the voice of a man in her Indianapolis home. When she got out of bed and turned the lights on, she saw him standing in her living room. Dolley, who stands at 5’6″, told the paper that’s when her instincts kicked in and she immediately began to attack him, punching him about 10 times and cornering him in her bedroom.

While at first she tried to reach for her gun, she opened the wrong drawer. But she was able to reach for her back-up weapon, a Japanese-style ninjato sword, which she keeps near her bed. Dolley pointed the sword at the suspect until she called 911 and police arrived.

“I didn’t think I was getting good blows in but my knuckles are bruised today. Hitting someone like that, it isn’t like the movies. You’re expecting it to be louder and see people jerk around, but that’s not how it happens in real life,” Dolley told the Indy Star.

Police arrested 30-year-old Jacob Wessel, who stands at 5’10”, for residential entry for forcing his way into the home’s back door. He was then taken to the hospital because he was too high on an unknown substance.

Dolley says she learned to fight as a teenager in the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that recreates skills from the Middle Ages. That’s where she would engage in unchoreographed fights against men. Currently, Dolley also uses those skills skating in a roller derby.

“At the end of the day, I’m glad to know that even if I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m not going down without a fight,” Dolley told the Indy Star.

Dolley says Wessel even apologized on his way out.

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