DOG RIVER, Ala. (WALA) - According to reports, an elderly woman in the Dog River area managed to fight off a robber.
Sam Sims lives down the street from the victim. He said the tight-knit neighborhood is a little shaken up.
"It does startle me to the point that things like this don't happen around here," said Sims.
Ashley Rains with the Mobile Police Department said around noon on December 5 a man knocked at the door of an elderly woman's home.
"When she answered the door, he produced a weapon and attempted to rob her," said Rains.
The victim said the suspect was wearing a Halloween mask. Another neighbor said it was similar to the one used in the movie Scream.
"It's a situation where you have to make a decision about what you are going to do," said Rains.
The victim chose to fight back, and it worked.
A neighbor was returning home from running errands when she saw the man in the doorway of the victim's home.
She said she saw the two start to fight. Sims said she ran to help; but before she got there, the suspect ran off into the woods.
"I saw a young gentleman walking down the road. Didn't seem to be in any hurry or anything like that," said Sims.
Sims didn't know what had happened or that the person he saw was the suspect.
"I wish I could have been right down the street and had helped her out," said Sims.
Police have identified the suspect as 17-year-old Richard Nelson. According to police, he lives right around the corner from where the incident happened.
"It was through good police work that we got Mr. Nelson off the streets because he obviously doesn't mind putting a gun in someone's face," said Rains.
Police said the victim is lucky to be alive but wouldn't recommend fighting back when someone has a gun.
"Try and shut the door and get to safety," said Rains.
Nelson is charged with robbery and is being held at the Strickland Youth Center.
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