TIGARD, Ore. – Police say when a 74-year-old woman asked her roommate for his share of the electric bill, he tried to kill her – but the woman fought back, landing the man in jail.
Charlotte Simons, 74, spent two days in the hospital after her roommate, 72-year-old Leo Miller, attacked her, strangling her and punching her in the face to the point where one of her eyes swelled shut.
Simons asked Miller for his half of the electric bill on Feb. 4, but he wasn’t ready to pay. Instead, investigators say Miller tried to kill Simons.
The 74-year-old says she was sitting in her recliner watching television when Miller came at her with a plastic bag around his hand and covered her face.
“He thought he could suffocate me with that,” Simons said.
Simons struggled to breathe and eventually played dead.
“I just went limp, and he thought that he killed me,” she said.
She then managed to pull out her Life Alert necklace to call for help.
“They came on the line and said, ‘What’s your emergency?’ I need the police. I need an ambulance – on the double!” Simons said.
But investigators say when Miller realized what she was doing, he started punching her in the face.
Simons says she was determined to fight back.
“That’s when I reached for his gonads, and I just squeezed them as hard as I could. If I had a pair of cutters, he wouldn’t be wearing ’em today, he’d be at the hospital,” she said.
Police interrupted the attack, thanks to the call Simons was able to make.
Miller is now in jail, facing charges that include attempted murder, strangulation and assault. He pleaded not guilty last Monday.
Simons say she’ll be happy if the 72-year-old never gets out of jail.
“If you want to beat up on somebody, go to the gym and work out on a body bag,” she said.