Medford woman fights off suspected burglar in her home

A Medford woman who arrived home early Sunday morning to find a burglar in her bedroom punched, kicked and bit the man, subduing him until police arrived.

Kathlene Brown, 41, of the 600 block of North Berkeley Way, had just gotten off work from delivering pizzas at about 12:35 a.m. when she found her front door unlocked, but the door to her bedroom locked. When she unlocked the bedroom door, she felt someone push it closed from the inside.

"I pushed the door open, and I saw some bald guy," Brown said. "I punched him in the face. He didn't have no hair so I was grabbing him by the ears and knocked him in the head with my knee."

Brown said she was exhausted from a long day at work and was carrying her purse and her uneaten lunch when she began fighting with the man.

"I had worked a few extra hours and it was really dark," she said. "I was so tired. I had one shoe off, because my foot hurt so bad."

Brown's 23-year-old daughter was sleeping in another bedroom but awoke to the sound of her mother screaming and fighting and called 9-1-1.

"My kid was in the other room. She's pregnant, so I'm a grandma," said Brown.

Brown said she pulled the man out of her bedroom and into the hallway, where they continued to fight. Brown said the man kicked her with both feet, but she continued kicking him back, hitting him, choking him and even biting him.

"I bit him so hard my teeth still hurt," she said. "He kept saying, 'I'm just helping,' and that made me madder than hell that he was lying to me."

The man begged her to stop and attempted to escape.

"I got him good, he was begging us to call the cops," said Brown. "I'm not a violent person, but my daughter was there. I would eat a human being if they messed with my kid."

Brown said Medford police arrived quickly and found the man sitting subdued in her living room, bleeding from his nose and mouth.

Police identified him as Christopher Lee King, 23. Court records show his address as the 500 block of Thompson Creek Road, Applegate. He is being held without bail on a felony charge of first-degree burglary and a probation violation for fourth-degree assault.

King sustained some injuries to his head, face, back, chest and arms, which did not require immediate medical attention, Budreau said.

Officers found Brown's television and stereo equipment outside her bedroom window, which were recovered and returned to her, Budreau said.

Brown said she has no injuries other than a fat lip. "My daughter said, 'Look, Mom, you didn't even squish your sandwich!'"

Budreau said making a citizen's arrest is lawful, but is not the safest action to take.

"It's best to be a good witness and immediately call 9-1-1 and see if we can't catch them by other means, like setting up a perimeter, trying to get them as they flee the area, or after the fact through forensic evidence," said Budreau. "Because he does have a record, and his prints are on file. There are other ways to catch them."

Budreau said it's not worth getting possibly seriously hurt over items such as a stereo or a television. Burglars often steal guns, Budreau said, and they could be armed.

"Usually it's just not going to be worth the risk, to detain somebody like that for us," said Budreau. "I hate to be too critical of her because she acted with extreme bravery and courage. It certainly helped us attain a very quick arrest. We kind of caught him red-handed, it's an iron-clad case, so that helps."

Brown said she took a pocket-knife-type instrument from King.

"Women aren't what you think," Brown said. "Just 'cause she's a woman doesn't mean she won't kick your ass.

"I would not mess with a woman and her child."

Mandy Valencia is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach her at

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