She may be a burglary victim, but 83-year-old Estelle Samek is neither weary nor scared.
“I’m mad, I’m very angry that he did something like that,” said Samek.
She stumbled on a man rifling through her New Britain Avenue home on Tuesday afternoon, but she didn’t back down.
“There was this man standing there with his hands in my husband’s dresser drawer, so I looked at him and I said, ‘Who the hell are you?’ And I turned around and ran and he ran behind me and he tackled me on the stairs and he slammed me into the table and into the wall and he took off,” Samek said.
He got away with jewelry and cash, she said.
Police chased him through the neighborhood with dogs, stopping to ask Lisa Kim and other wide-eyed neighbors if they’d seen him.
“I said, ‘OK guys, let’s go inside, look the doors, close the garage,’” said Kim.
Officers eventually caught up with the accused burglar, identified Tuesday night as Luis Ortiz, 29, in Newington.
“It was one of those situations where he’d pop up, we’d find him or whatever,” said Lt. Stephen Estes of the West Hartford Police. “A lot of ground was covered by this guy and our officers in this chase.”
The violent break-in and the chase dominated the evening gossip in West Hartford.
“Shocked! I actually I texted her and asked her if she was home and I said, ‘I just heard on the news that there was a burglary,’” said Emilia Pereira, who lives around the corner from Samek.
“We all started talking around the neighborhood, just keeping an eye on things,” said Kim.
Meanwhile Samek said she’s feeling a little sore, but proud that the officers cornered her alleged attacker.
Ortiz is charged with home invasion, burglary, robbery, larceny, assault, criminal mischief and interfering with a police officer.