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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/7/2002 4:36:15 AM EST
MOUNT VERNON, Mo. (AP)--Florists were hanging wisteria at Charlotte Ann Neely-White's home for her wedding when a stranger drove up, claimed there was a bomb in his car, and made the mistake of demanding her beloved pickup. Neely-White had her fiance get her pistol, and while she fought with the man, the gun went off, wounding the man in the chest. A few hours later, Neely-White got married as scheduled. ``It was a long day,'' the former public school principal said Friday. ``This lady was as calm as a cucumber. She can withstand anything. I admire her guts,'' said flower arranger Linda Cassidy. ``I don't think I'd want to make her upset.'' Lawrence County Sheriff Doug Seneker said he had no doubt that Neely-White acted in self defense. Witnesses said the confrontation started about three hours before Neely-White's Fourth of July wedding. The stranger ``went rushing by and then he slammed on his brakes, and then he came into the yard, and he said 'Somebody call 911 quick, there's a bomb in my car,''' Cassidy said. ``He was scared and excited, and just kind of wired.'' Then he demanded that Neely-White give him her pickup. She refused. ``Have you ever had anything you really love? Well, I love that truck,'' said Neely-White, 55. She said the man threatened to set off the bomb if she didn't give him her truck. ``I said, `No sir, you go ahead and set the bomb off. My house needs work anyway.''' Neely-White said the man attacked her with a riding whip, so she yelled for her fiance, who had gone inside to call police, to grab her .22-caliber pistol. ``I probably mowed my fiance over,'' Neely-White said. As a former principal, it was in her nature to take control, she said. Seneker said Neely-White and the assailant struggled for the gun, and it went off, hitting the man once in the chest. He managed to grab the gun from her, break a window in Neely-White's pickup with a piece of firewood and open the door. With the gun pointed at her, Neely-White backed off. Police later arrested Jorge Luis Cecenas, 30, after he allegedly abandoned the pickup. He was charged Friday, while hospitalized with a chest wound, with first-degree assault and other counts. AP-NY-07-07-02 0826EDT Go Lady! And get a bigger caliber, please.
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