YOUNGSTOWN -- Jamming her fingers between a towel and her neck and playing dead may have saved the life of an 81-year-old South Side woman who was the victim of a Sunday morning burglary.
The East Ravenwood Avenue woman was found bleeding from a leg injury after calling 911 to report a man tried to strangle her with a towel before he and another man stole her car and two sets of house keys and car keys.
According to a report, the woman allowed the man calling himself Steve into her residence to use the phone to get a ride home. After several attempts to reach someone, the man asked her for a ride and drove her 1992 Plymouth Acclaim "all over the South Side" with her in it, causing her to realize something was wrong, the report says.
He picked up the second man, described as 5 feet 11 inches, 200 pounds and between 25 and 30, who got into the back seat. They returned to the woman's home so the man could again use the phone, and the second man entered her home without permission, the report says.
As she walked toward the front door, the second man pulled the towel around her neck before fleeing in her car, the report shows. It was at this time that she put her fingers between her neck and the towel and played dead.
She apparently sustained the leg injury after being tripped during the attack.