99-Year-Old Grandma Held Hostage By Teen Keeps Him Calm Until He Eventually Surrenders

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

Authorities say that a 99-year-old grandmother from Salt Lake City was held hostage by an 18-year-old. According to police, Doris Rucker Wasden was at home with her grandchildren when the incident occurred.

The suspect, Freddy Alexander Velasquez, allegedly shot the back of Doris’ door. Police say he then entered the home and held her grandchildren at gunpoint. However, the family managed to escape before Doris knew what had happened. She had been in her bedroom the whole time.

“He was just scared I guess, and he grabbed me by my hands, and then I just sit on the floor on my bum so I didn’t get hurt,” Doris recalled to Fox 13. “And I just got back in bed and he come in again and then he started to talk to me. And I said ‘I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.’ And then he realized I was a very old woman, so he was pretty nice to me after that.”

Doris said Freddy would sit on the bed and talk to her. Doris said she never felt like the teenager would hurt her, so she kept him calm.

“My brother said I saved my life just by doing that,” she said. “Saved his life.”

SWAT was able to negotiate with Freddy, and after a few hours he surrendered. Doris’ grandson, Jim, isn’t surprised she was able to thwart the suspect with kindness.

“Grandma’s disposition is what she’s taught us: that you can’t have animosity and you can’t be angry with the young man,” Jim said. “He made a mistake and we don’t hold resentment, and we just hope that he gets some help and hope that his family is OK.”

Doris will be celebrating her 100th birthday soon. While she is having a party, she didn’t quite expect this much excitement.

Footage and photo provided by KSTU Salt Lake City

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