68-year-old fends off armed robber while babysitting

October 30, 2006

An attempted robbery, stopped by a 68-year-old woman...and her trusty .38.

Today in Augusta, a run of the mill robbery turned out to be anything but.

Investigators say 21-year-old Lawrence Erin Woolfolk tried to rob a business at gunpoint...but the 68-year-old woman behind the counter had a surprise for him.

It was supposed to be easy...run in the cleaners and scare the woman with a baby behind the counter, grab the money and run away.

But Janis Butler had a secret weapon.

"The man had the pistol in my face, cocked, and then put it in the child's face cocked, and said, 'If you don't give me the money I'm going to blow you away!' And I said, 'Wait a minute...'"

The frightening morning at Paulos Cleaners on Peach Orchard Road started a little after 10 o'clock.

Investigators say Lawrence Woolfolk approached Janis, who was holding a fussy 13-month-old baby girl, and tried to rob the place.

"So I said, 'The money's under the counter, but I got to get this baby calm.' She was in hysterics, screaming, crying, hollering screaming terrible."

Janis says that as the robber went for the cash, she went for her purse.

"Then I got the pistol, pulled it out, cocked it, and was ready to shoot. And I had my hand on the trigger. He seen it and it scared him so bad he went flying out the front door like to have busted it down!"

Janis called 911, and within minutes deputies arrested Woolfolk.

"A lot of people say I should have shot him, but I was too worried about the baby in my arms."

And she has a message for anyone else looking to rob her store for a quick buck.

"I'd say you'd better back up---I'm not afraid!"

Janis is certainly not afraid...she spent last year battling breast cancer.

She seems right at home with her gun. She says she can't wait to start coon and quail hunting next year when she is cleared by her doctors.