New York Is a City of Tough-Ass Grannies

By and
Doris Henion
Photo: New York Times

If you read the city tabloids as zestfully as we do, you will no doubt have noticed a trend: Even in these hard economic times, New York is full of heroes lately. There are subway heroes and airplane heroes and civic heroes and even cultural heroes. But our favorite kind of hero, the very best kind, is the granny hero. And this week, a new one raised her shaky fist and let the world know that she is here and kicking butt. So, in their honor, we've compiled a list of New York's tough-ass grannies.

Doris Henion: Yesterday, a man with a gun robbed 78-year-old Doris's daughter. Fearlessly, she chased after him screaming bloody murder, and even followed him across the car-filled Jericho Turnpike. Cops eventually nabbed the burglar. [Newsday]


Elsie Barretto

Elsie Barretto. Deaf, 83-year-old, Upper East Side grandma Elsie had just said "Have a nice day" to a gentleman in her building after getting off the elevator when the man attacked her. Finding this exceedingly rude, Elsie fought back. "I fought. Yes I fought him. I punch him. I don't remember if I scratched him. I don't remember. But I know I beat him and beat him and beat him and kicked him first. That's why he got mad at me because I threw him down," she explained. "If you find him, bring him back to me ... I'm going to punch him right in the face and I'm gonna break his mouth and break his nose. To teach him a lesson." [CBS]


Elizabeth Maropoulos

Elizabeth Maropolous: This 86-year-old woman was walking home from church one Sunday morning in her NYC neighborhood when she was accosted by a mugger half her age. Instead of just turning her purse over to him, she attacked back, "Once I realized he was coming after me, I went kick, kick!" she said. "I wasn't scared." [NYP]

Vivian Squires

Vivian Squires: 86-year-old Vivian knew something was amiss when she awoke to find a stranger in her home, trying to smother her with a pillow. Naturally, she fought him off, until he slashed her with a knife. She kept fighting until he fled. She's expected to be fine after her injuries heal. [NYDN]

Rose Morat

Rose Morat: 101-year-old Rose was beaten for $33 by a mugger in a ski mask. After, CBS reported she was "bruised but unfazed." "God doesn't want me up there, he wants me down here." [CBS News]



Elisabeth Rubin: Holocaust survivor Elisabeth, 86, beat a mugger with her umbrella after he tried to snatch her purse in front of Madison Square Garden. Later she said "I wish I'd poked him in the eye." With the sharp end. [CBS]

Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson: Johnson's wheelchair might have made her look like an easy target. But when a mugger tried to grab a chain off her neck, the 56-year-old pulled out her licensed .357 pistol and shot him, police said. [NYT]