‘Wonder Woman’ Routs 2 Intruders’
by Mark Gerrard
LOS ANGELES TIMES June 3, 1981 — The two strange men looked plenty suspicious to Wanda Capek, 70-year-old teacher at a parochial school in Hollywood, when she returned home Tuesday and found them in her backyard.
“There was a big guy carrying a big TV and a little guy carrying a little TV,” Capek said later.
When she asked the two what they were doing in her yard and where they got the television sets, she said, one them replied, “We’re moving in,” and pointed to her house.
Shoved Him Back
Capek then positioned herself to corner the pair – the same way, she said, she “corners kids” at St. Casimir’s School where she teaches.
The 5-foot, 3-inch teacher placed a hand on the big man’s chest, and shoved him back, then cried out, “Where’s my hammer?” which she said scared the two.
When the big man tried to push her aside with the television set, Capek said, she kicked him in the groin. He gasped and dropped the TV, then he headed for the gate.
Capek said she told the little man, “I’ll get the hammer and kill you.”
She could not find the hammer, though, so she picked up a big cudgel fashioned from a tree branch that she keeps handy in the yard.
Blocked the Van
The little man dropped the little TV and fled also. Capek threw a hose at him.
Capek chased the two to a van out in the street. She wrote the license plate number of the van on her hand as a motorist, seeing what was happening, maneuvered his car to block the van.
A woman who lives behind the Capek house and had been watching the confrontation ran out of her house and shouted encouragement to Capek.
“She yelled at me in broken English, ‘You’re Wonder Woman!” Capek said proudly.
The two men took off down the street as fast as they could.
“They ran as if they had their pants on fire,” Capek said.
Meanwhile, a police helicopter and patrol cars arrived at the Capek house on Lexington Avenue. Officers chased the suspects to a backyard, where the two were captured.
Carlos Garcia, 25, and Mike Maldonado, 20, were booked on suspicion of burglary. Police said they found loot from other burglaries in the van, which had been stolen.
Capek said she was teaching her class at St. Casimir’s at 10:30 a.m., when the principal came into the classroom and told her that a neighbor had telephoned there was “something happening” at the Capek house.
There had been burglaries at the house before, so she rushed home.
“I’m from Chicago and I’m tough,” Capek said. “I was looking for a hatchet. I would have cut their heads off. If you let those punks know you’re afraid, they’ll hurt you….”