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79-year-old beaten and robbed speaks out
NOME - by Lauren Huet
Investigators are searching for three men who broke into a 79-year-old woman's house, robbed her, and beat her. It happened Friday, May 16, at around 11:50 p.m. in Nome.
Betty Kotz owns Betty's Liquor in Nome, and is already back at work, even though she has a concussion and is covered in bruises.
"And not only on my arms, like that," said Kotz making a large circle with her hands, "where he kicked me in the back with his knee. Kicked me in the leg, it's all swelled up and blue."
Three men broke into Kotz's home on Kotz Road Friday night. She woke up when she heard a noise.
"And I lay there a minute, something's wrong," said Kotz, "and I went to step out of bed, and a man walked in my bedroom, and he grabbed me."
Kotz fought back, and says she "got a few licks in," but he was too strong.
"They drug me through there, stole all my money, beat me, hit me in the head, busted my head open and everything," said Kotz.
They even made her walk barefoot across broken glass from the sliding glass door they had busted.
"They made me walk through the glass," said Kotz. "Took [doctors] over an hour and a half to pick the glass out of my feet, because I was barefooted when they drug me through the den."
The men took a TV and some money.
"Where's the money? Where's the money? That's all he ever said. They know I own Betty's, they probably watch what time I got home," said Kotz.
Kotz called 9-1-1 after the men left and was taken to the hospital, where she had to be given stitches.
She says things would have been different if her two security systems, which were armed, had alerted her. Kotz says everyone in town knows she carries a gun.
"All I had to do was pick up the gun when he walked through the door, he wouldn't be here, but the alarms never went off, so that threw me off. There can't be anyone in my house," said Kotz.
The Mayor of Nome says things like this usually don't happen here and people are scared. So the city plans to revitalize its neighborhood watch program.
"You seen what they done to Betty, and people stick together in the country, and we're going to watch out for each other," said Mayor Kerry Abney.
"You never know when something like this will happen. you're not safe anywhere, not anymore. So, it pays to have a neighborhood watch I think. I like it," said Kotz's neighbor Joyce Labay.
Kotz says she hasn't been able to sleep since that night.
"It'll be a long time before I get over the shock, I can assure you, and I'm a pretty tough old gal. The fear. Is it going to happen again?" said Kotz.
Kotz says she's overwhelmed by the support she's received from the community.
If you have any information about the identities of the burglars, call the detective division of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office: 409-835-8411. You can also call Crime Stoppers, which will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the burglars. Call (409) 833-TIPS.