This goes to show you don't mess with the law, or the wife of the law.
Good job Ms. Basinski, but please be careful.
70-year old Elyria woman fights off 4 robbers with Emeril Lagasse pan
ELYRIA — The 70-year-old wife of a Lorain County Family Court judge meted out a little domestic justice of her own Tuesday afternoon when she fought off four robbers with her favorite saucepan.
Ellen Basinski refused to be intimidated by a man and three boys who forced their way into her house on Columbus Street and demanded money.
"One of them picked up my purse and just dumped it out," she said Wednesday. "Now, my purse is like Fibber McGee's closet, it's got everything in there. I got very angry."
Before she even gave much thought about what she should do, she grabbed an Emeril Lagasse 5-quart saucepan.
"I picked up the saucepan and smacked him right on the head," she said. "He looked at me and said, 'Lady, why did you do that?' And I hit him again."
The robber's friend threw a bottle of Jack Daniels at the woman, striking her on the foot. He told police he was trying to distract the woman so his friend could get away from her.
Police arrested Patrick Kostal, 18, and three juveniles, ages 17, 16 and 15. All four are from Elyria and were charged with a felony count of aggravated burglary.
"We have a great neighborhood watch group," Basinski said. "They helped the police, who were also fantastic, and they caught them."
Basinski was on the phone with her husband, Judge David Basinski, when the robbers broke in."We talk every day around 3 p.m.," he said Wednesday. "We tell each other about our day. While we were talking, my wife said, 'David, what are those four boys doing in our driveway?' The next thing I heard was the door being pushed open and someone yelling, 'Give me your money.' "
The judge told his secretary to call 9-1-1 and he and his bailiff, Tony Piwinski, jumped in a car and drove toward the house.
The courthouse is just a few miles from his home, but they got stuck in traffic.
"Elyria High School had just let out and there were people and cars everywhere," he said. "We saw police cars and an ambulance rushing by, and that's when I was really frightened. We got there about 12 minutes later and my wife was standing on the front lawn with police. She was upset that she had to turn over her favorite saucepan as evidence."
Later, they realized that they had hired one of the suspects to shovel their driveway several weeks ago. "My wife gave them a big tip, so they thought we had money," he said. "It's sad when that's what you get for trying to help someone."
He is grateful things ended as well as they did, but he said he had a long talk with his wife.
"She did all the things I told her never to do in that kind of situation," he said. "We've been married 47 years and she raised our five sons. She's not afraid of anything."