Safety Lesson for Seniors
On the morning of May 15th, Cathy Girard went to the Hazleton Senior
Center, as she often does, to play her weekly game of Rummy-O with her
girlfriends. After enjoying herself for hours, Cathy cleaned up her game
and headed out, only to be greeted outside by an unexpected guest. An
aggressive man who wanted her purse attacked Cathy. She ended up giving
her purse up, leaving her without money, identification or her game.
Cathy, who has lived in Hazle Township most of her life, says the area
has changed drastically over the years and other seniors in the area
agree. With many residents worried about the recent purse snatchings,
robberies and even a home invasion in the city of Hazleton, Lt. John
Leonard came to the City’s Senior Center Tuesday morning to offer tips
on staying safe. Lt. Leonard says he wants people to be aware of the
situation they’re in and be able to sense and deter if they are a target
for criminal activity or violence. Lt. Leonard also recommends traveling
in groups, but says if you are targeted to make noise to attract people
to your location. Another tip, if you can, call the police. Some
senior’s that spoke with News 13 had their own strategies to stop the
bad guys. Using their cane, buying mace or even carrying a knife were
some ideas women had. Lt. Leonard says, although this may be legal, it
may not be necessary. As of now, the purse snatcher has not been caught.
Police are now following up on leads and even have a picture of the
perpetrator. Extra officers are now patrolling the streets of the
downtown area, especially during the morning hours.