Police: Woman Uses Baseball Bat to Fight Off Suspected Robber

A Tennessee woman who was the victim of an alleged attempted robbery foiled the suspect’s plan to rob her home by using a baseball bat to fight him off, police said.

The 52-year-old Kingsport resident said she heard someone knocking on her door Saturday night and opened the door to discover a woman handing out what appeared to be flyers asking for help finding a lost dog. Police said a masked suspect dragged her outside by the arm, WGHP reported.

The Kingsport Times-News reported that Joe M. Sotello, 34, allegedly shouted, “This is a robbery!” as he pushed her back inside the house.

The woman engaged in a struggle with Sotello and pulled his mask off. When she lifted his mask, she was able to identify him as a friend of the family, according to a police press release.

The woman noticed Sotello had a gun in his belt, so she used a baseball bat she found behind the door and beat the alleged robber, WBIR reported.

Investigators stated that there were two 18-year-old women also in the house at the time of the alleged attempted robbery who assisted in driving Sotello out of the house.

Police said he attempted to flee in a car driven by the woman with the flyers, who turned out to be his girlfriend, but the three women stopped him.

Sotello managed to flee the scene but was later caught at the home of a relative of one of the three victims.

Sotello initially refused medical treatment for his injuries but was then taken to a local hospital for treatment. He was charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.

Sotello is being held in the Sullivan County Jail on $35,000 bond. His girlfriend, who turned herself in and reportedly confessed to cooperating out of fear of Sotello, is not being charged.


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