Tahlequah Mother-Son Duo Fend Off Burglar In Bloody Fight

Tuesday, September 24th 2013, 10:22 pm

When a Tahlequah mother and son got home around 9:30 Sunday night, they say they found a man sitting crossed legged in front of their entertainment center, unplugging the wires.

Kathy Riddle said the man attacked her son and threatened to kill him. So together, they took a stand.

They're an unlikely tag team.

"If my son hadn't of been with me, I would have been dead," Riddle said.

But together, Riddle and her son, Dustin Waddell, proved they're a force to be reckoned with.

"We just literally knocked the tar out of him. I mean, we beat the tar out him and we meant it," Riddle said.

The two said they opened the door Sunday night to Curtis Coleman trying to steal the TV Riddle had just bought with her tax return money.

"I work too hard to lose what I do have," Riddle said.

Waddell said Coleman told him he could explain, but grabbed Waddell by the throat and started to fight instead.

And then, in came Kathy Riddle: "I grabbed a pot and went inside and him and my son was fighting pretty good, and I took the pot and I hit the guy over the top of the head."

But Riddle said that didn't stop the suspect. The fight continued.

"It was biting, scratching eyes, gouging eyes, taking stuff and busting it over his head," Waddell said.

"I mean, it was like we was hitting him with everything and my son was hitting him and I was hitting him, and we was just taking turns wailing on this guy," Riddle said.

She said, at one point, she went for a knife in the kitchen, but she said Coleman punched her and took the weapon away. So, in turn, she grabbed the blade of the knife.

"When he had it like this, I had a hold of this and bent it back in a 'U,' like this, pointing it back at him," Riddle said. "And I could feel it, you know, sawing through my hand, but you know, I was afraid to let go of it and I was really worried for my son."

Waddell said when he saw Coleman go after his mom, the fight really got serious for him.

"He punched mom. What man hits a woman? It's a low life, that's what it is," Waddell said. "I was gonna do anything to protect my mom."

Waddell said Coleman bit him several times on the arm. So he and his mom said they found a way to keep Coleman from doing that again anytime soon.

"We knocked his two front teeth out, isn't that funny? So we're gonna each take credit for a tooth", Riddle said.

Riddle said, after what felt like an hour of fighting, the brawl made its way outside and Coleman ran off.

Police say they found him bloody and hiding in an attic.

The mother-son duo said they'd do it again if it meant protecting each other.

"I was fighting for her and she was fighting for me and we weren't gonna stop because we were afraid," Waddell said.

Riddle said, "I was in mother bear mode. Protect your cubs. It was just, [we] did what we had to do."

According to the police report, Coleman told officers he was just trying to survive, because he couldn't find a job.

He was booked into the Cherokee County jail for burglary, assault and battery with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.