News 8 – A 22-year-old South Carolina man is in the hospital after a failed attempt at a church robbery went horribly wrong. Manuel Cruz decided to take his chances with God and rob the First United Methodists Church in Greenville where 87-year-old Myrdal Smith was volunteering as secretary. Much to his surprise, Cruz was not expecting the fight of his life.
“I may be 80, but I’m no p*ssy, I’m the real deal!” Smith explained as she described how the incident took place. “I was sitting at the desk when this young man came in asking me for directions to McDonald’s. I said ‘what do I look like a roadmap?’ Then this little thug had the nerve to tell me to give him all my money! That’s when the fun began.”
Smith said she agreed to hand over the cash but told him it was “on that top shelf” and she was too short to reach it. She told him to go grab it. It was at that point the 87-year-old granny grabbed a cast iron pan from Wednesday night’s church potluck and whacked Cruz in the back of the head.
“As soon as he turned around I grab that pan with two hands and swanged as hard as I could. He fell to the ground and I hit him five more times in the head and in the face,” said Smith laughing uncontrollably. “Then he tried to get up and run so shot in the leg with the gun I keep under my desk. I don’t play. These kids gonna show some respect!”
When police arrived they found a wounded crews crying on the church office floor begging police to take him out of the room. Paramedic John Rothenberg said Cruz was crying like a baby. “‘Please get me away from this crazy woman! Please!’ That’s all this guy could say. On our job we try to stay professional. But when we were treating him all we could do was laugh. I guess you can say he got what he deserved.”
Police say Smith walked a fine line by shooting the young man after he was already injured and helpless. However, authorities have declined to take Smith into custody stating “she did what she thought she had to do to protect herself.”