Marjorie Perkins, 87, was left bruised after police said a teenager broke into her home and attacked her. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

An 87-year-old Brunswick woman last week fought off an intruder who broke into her home in the middle of the night, threatened to stab her, then attacked her.

Marjorie Perkins was asleep in her Beverly Drive home in the Bay Bridge Estates neighborhood around 2 a.m. last Wednesday when she woke to a teenager standing over her.

“He said, ‘I’m going to cut you,'” said Perkins, who was alone in the home. “I thought to myself, ‘If he’s going to cut, I’m going to kick.’ So I jumped into my shoes.”

Perkins said the teen started hitting her and she reached for a chair to use as a shield.

“That helped,” she said. “I was hollering for help out the window. … Thank God I had the chair between us. It would’ve been worse.”

No one heard her and the attack continued; she said the teen punched her forehead, causing a bruise.


“He kept punching me and pushing me,” she said, adding she kicked at him and used the chair to push him away.

Eventually, the teen got tired and went to the kitchen, Perkins said. He wasn’t wearing pants or shoes, which were in a pile next to a window air conditioning unit — along with a knife, police said. She said the teen broke in by moving the air conditioner’s side panel and squeezing through the gap. She had locked her front door before going to bed.

Marjorie Perkins shows the window where she said an intruder moved her air conditioner’s side panel to squeeze through. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

“I kept saying, ‘You need to get out. You need help,'” she said. “He said he was awfully hungry and hadn’t had anything to eat for quite a while. And I said, ‘Well, here’s a box of peanut butter and honey crackers. You can have that whole box.’ I gave him two containers of Ensure and I gave him two tangerines.”

While he was eating, she dialed 911 on her rotary phone.

“I dialed as fast as I could,” she said.

The teen left before police arrived, she said. A Brunswick police dog tracked the teen a few blocks away and he was taken into custody, police said. He was taken to the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland and faces charges including burglary, criminal threatening, assault and consuming liquor as a minor. Perkins said the teen had a water bottle full of alcohol.


Perkins said the teen is 17 years old; police described him as a “young adult” but have declined to release his identity or age.

About 10 years ago, the same person mowed her lawn to make extra money, Perkins said.

“He did a darn good job,” she said. “I hope he gets help.”

Perkins, a former elementary school teacher, stays active by teaching line dancing in the Midcoast, which she has done for the last 25 years. She also taught figure skating at Bowdoin College.

She said she was glad she wasn’t hurt worse.

“I’m 87 years old,” she said.

After the attack, a neighbor gave Perkins a bat and Perkins had a worker reinforce her air conditioner with screws. She urged others with window air conditioning units to make sure they are secure to prevent break-ins.

Marjorie Perkins said she had a worker reinforce her air conditioner with screws to prevent another break-in. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

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