Shovel, wire cutters used to fight off East Memphis home invasion suspect

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An East Memphis homeowner had to defend himself with a pair of wire cutters after his wife said a barefooted man with dreadlocks appeared in his garage and began attacking him Sunday.

Donna Crisp said it happened around 3:30 p.m. at their home on the 2000 block of Kirby Parkway as her husband was working on one of the patriotic signs he periodically places around the neighborhood.

“When he [the suspect] started putting his hands around his neck, he [the victim] started hitting at him as much as he could trying to get the release,” Crisp said.

But the terror didn’t end there. Crisp said the suspect made his way into the family home and began rummaging through the place.

“I’m like, ‘What are you doing? Stop doing that!’ You know, ‘Get away!’ and then I kicked him — gently, but I’ve never kicked anybody, anything before,” Crisp said.

Crisp said the man was in her home for several minutes before emerging with her purse and car keys.

He then jumped into her black Nissan Murano, she said, but her husband and neighbors were waiting for him with a shovel and a gun.

“They’re hitting him with the shovel and trying to point the gun at him,” she said.

Crisp said it didn’t seem to faze him as much as they had hoped. At that point, he already had the engine running and began backing up.

“The door’s hanging open, that knocks my husband over and hurts his hand,” Crisp said.

The suspect took off, demolishing the Crisps’ mailbox in the process.

Her neighbors chased him on the freeway, but eventually lost sight of him.

“It teaches us we [have] got to be mindful and aware of our surroundings, but how do you prevent this on a Sunday at 3:35 on a busy street?”

Crisp said she’s now considering adding surveillance cameras to her property.