AP

Illinois man, 81, uses antique walking stick to beat thieves

Nov 20, 2020, 7:31 PM
Illinois man, 81, uses antique walking stick to beat thieves...
Dan Donovan, joined by his wife, Barbara, holds the antique shillelagh he used to chase burglars from the couple's Niles home even hitting one of the men in the back of the head, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 in Niles, Ill. Donovan, an 81-year-old former Marine from suburban Chicago used his grandfather's antique Irish walking stick to chase off three burglars and deliver one a thump in the head for his trouble.(Jennifer Johnson/Chicago Tribune via AP)
(Jennifer Johnson/Chicago Tribune via AP)

NILES, Ill. (AP) — An 81-year-old former Marine from suburban Chicago used his grandfather’s antique Irish walking stick to chase off three burglars and deliver one a thump in the head for his trouble.

Dan and Barbara Donovan told the Pioneer Press newspaper group that a man in a reflective vest and mask knocked on their door in Niles on Nov. 4 and said he was a utility worker who needed to check their fuse box due to a recent fire in the area.

Barbara Donovan said while they were in the basement with the man, who was looking at their electric circuit panel, she heard squeaking floorboards upstairs realized something wasn’t right.

“I yelled, ‘Danny! Somebody’s in our bedroom!” she said.

She bounded up the steps, followed by her husband and the so-called utility worker. When the couple reached the main floor, they found two other men inside, one holding a pillowcase from their bedroom.

Dan Donovan began trying to chase the three men from their house, and that’s when he grabbed his grandfather’s shillelagh — an antique Irish walking stick propped in the corner of the couple’s dining room.

“I was trying to find some type of persuasive weapon,” he said. “So I picked up the Irish shillelagh and that turned out to be the equalizer because I managed to chase them out of the house.”

Donovan struck the man with the pillowcase in the back of the head with the stick. The man held onto the pillowcase as he followed his two cohorts outside, but Donovan, who was barefoot, followed, using the shillelagh to deliver blows to the windshield and rear window of the men’s SUV before they fled.

“Hopefully they got nothing more than a headache and hopefully they pursue another occupation,” he said.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
1 day ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
1 day ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
3 days ago
Hand-written messages cover the heart attached to the cross to honor a victim of the mass shooting ...
COLLEEN SLEVIN, THOMAS PEIPERT, JESSE BEDAYN and BRITTANY PETERSON

Colorado gay club shooting suspect held without bail

The alleged shooter facing possible hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub was ordered held without bail in an initial court appearance Wednesday.
3 days ago
Four Dead University of Idaho...
NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS Associated Press

Coroner: Idaho students were stabbed to death in their beds

Four University of Idaho students who were found dead in a rental house Sunday were stabbed to death in their beds and likely were asleep.
8 days ago
FILE - In this photo provided by the National Park Service is the Abyss Pool hot spring in the sout...
The Associated Press

Foot found in Yellowstone hot pool ID’d as that of LA man

Yellowstone National Park officials say a foot found in July belongs to a 70-year-old man from California.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Illinois man, 81, uses antique walking stick to beat thieves