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Frankford woman beats away burglars

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Philadelphia Daily News
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 8:48 p.m.
 

When Diane Davies' son told her to keep a bat by her front door, she thought he was crazy.

“I've lived here 32 years, and I love this street,” Davies said of her home, on Granite Street near Rutland in Frankford. “I've never had any problems here before; I thought it was a safe place.”

That was until two men posing as workers from the city's Water Department knocked on her door about 9 a.m. Thursday.

When Davies, 54, opened the door to greet the men, one of them immediately punched her in the eye. That's when she remembered her son's bat.

“Next thing I knew, it was in my hand,” she said. “I just swung as hard as I could.”

She connected, hitting the closest thug in the shoulder. The duo fled immediately, and Davies ran upstairs, “into the arms of my daughter,” she said.

“I was just in shock,” she said. “I'm still trying to process what happened.”

Davies said she walked away from the encounter with some bruising around her eye. A trip to Aria Health's Frankford hospital revealed she sustained a concussion during the attack.

Cheryl Davies, who comforted her mother after the attack, was furious that the thugs would be so bold.

“My mother has Crohn's disease; she's clearly a sickly woman,” Davies said. “Never in a million years would I expect someone to punch someone so frail in the face.”

Police said they were looking for the two suspects. Cheryl Davies said footage from her neighbor's private surveillance cameras was turned over to police.

But until these men are caught, Diane Davies has one piece of advice for city residents:

“Unless you specifically call for utility workers, don't open your door for them,” she said.

“Otherwise, they shouldn't be showing up at your house.”

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