NEMACOLIN, Penn. (KDKA) — Meeting Hannah Hughes, one is struck by how reserved the young woman is, polite and quiet.
But Hughes is also someone you don’t want to mess with.
It was New Year’s Eve, and festivities were wrapping for the Hughes family in Nemacolin, Greene County, when Deb Hughes, Hannah’s mom, saw something unusual.
“I saw all of her lights on in the upstairs of her house. She lives right across the street,” Deb said.
Hannah recalls the moment, saying, “She [Deb Hughes] came and met me in this area, and said, ‘Who’s in your house?’ I said, there better be nobody in my house.”
Moments later, Hannah took off. “I just bolted out the door,” she said. “The only thing I could think is if I get a hold of this guy, I’m not letting him go.”
She would have her chance. Standing in her home’s doorway was a man, identified as 19-year-old Edward William Staley of nearby Carmichaels. Hannah had no idea who the stranger was.
According to the California University of Pennsylvania senior, things got physical quickly,.
“I pushed him, and he came at me to try and push me back. That’s when I grabbed him by the hair and put my arm around his arm, and I just threw him,” Hannah said.
Unbeknownst to Staley, he was tangling with someone trained for the task at hand.
Hannah trained for 10 years and was a brown belt in karate.
“A switch went off in my head,” Hannah said.
In a second, Staley was face down and hurting. Hannah, who was now in complete control of Staley, advised him, “Don’t move or I’ll break your neck.”
Staley stayed still until state troopers arrived.
Hannah got a few bruises out of the whole ordeal, but Staley got charged with burglary, assault and some other counts.
Meanwhile, Hannah says while she was angry at first, she hopes Staley makes positive life changes. Given what could have happened, Hannah is okay with how it worked out.
“It was a bad situation, but it ended in one of the best ways it could have,” she said.