Perhaps the young PA woman thought that the 71 year old veteran, whose friend happened to be in a wheelchair would make an easy target. Unfortunately for her, she thought wrong. Oh so wrong.
Harry Kopenis managed to chase and tackle the 22 year old woman whom he says robbed him at an ATM machine. Then, with help from his wheelchair bound friend they held her until police arrived.
“Maybe she thought I was easy prey. She didn’t think I was going to get her. Well, senior citizens aren’t easy prey,” Kopenis said.
Police charged Erin Vanmatre, of Kingston PA, with robbery, harassment and other offenses.
Vanmantre was on probation for conspiracy to commit theft was locked up on $10,000 bail.
Kopenis suffered a stroke five years ago and is on a variety of prescription meds. He says he’s not really sure how he was able to catch the girl, yet pointing to the sky he said “It was a source up there who gave me the energy.”
He had gone to an ATM near his Kingston home Monday morning and withdrew $100 when Vanmatre allegedly knocked him down, took his money and fled.
Kopenis’ friend, Kevin Lamb, was nearby in his electric wheelchair. Both men took off after her. Kopenis got her to the ground and Lamb grabbed her leg.
“She wasn’t going anyplace then,” said Lamb, 56, who uses the wheelchair due to breathing problems.
Kopenis said he thought about not pressing charges, but she continued to resist and gave him a kick to the leg.
The men weren’t seriously injured.