LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A 79-year-old Lee County woman said she has learned a hard lesson on trusting casual acquaintances to move into her home. The woman, who uses a wheelchair and walker top get around, found herself a prisoner in her house, while a man and his girlfriend took items from the place.
"I am angry more than anything. I know what I did was stupid. You can't trust anybody, and it is a shame that you can't," said Winona Kelly.
Her ordeal began a month or so ago, when she allowed a 16-year-old girl move into her house, because the girl had nowhere to go. The the girl's 20-year-old boyfriend moved in. Kelly became wary of the "guests," and asked them to leave. At first, they refused to do so. Then, Tuesday morning, they started moving out, but, Kelly said, not before cleaning out her refrigerator, and taking her cell phone.
The insult became worse when Kelly said the man took steps to prevent her from interfering.
"He shoved me around. He reached down and locked the brake on my wheelchair. I was trying to reach the door to lock them out, as they were hauling stuff out. But I couldn't reach because the chair was locked, and with my arthritis in the hands, I could not unlock the brakes," said Kelly.
She said the man even threw her walker to the other side of the room, to make it harder for Kelly to be mobile.
Kelly eventually unlocked the chair after the couple left. Kelly got to a neighbor's house and that person called 911.
Lee Sheriff's deputies arrested Christopher Hall. The arrest report said he is 6 feet, 9 inches tall, and weighs 230 pounds. Kelly stands less than 5 feet tall. Despite that, she said she tried to fight the man, when he was taking stuff out the door.
"I was shouting and I tried to reach out and hit him. But I couldn't really reach, because I was in the chair with the brakes and all. I was angry and felt helpless," Kelly said.
Deputies arrested Hall for robbery. The 16-year old girl is not charged with a crime.