Dori: Gun-toting Bellevue woman scares off looter after area is evacuated for mudslide

Jan 24, 2022, 4:29 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2022, 12:09 pm
A home sits at the bottom of a hill after sliding off its foundation in a recent landslide in Bellevue, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Some Bellevue home invader out there has learned a lesson: Don’t mess around with Judy Olson of Somerset.

It started one week ago, when Judy Olson managed to sleep through a pre-dawn commotion while her husband George, 81, responded to emergency response crews banging at their front door.

“There was the fire department, … and about 200 feet away there was all kinds of water spurting up the back side of a house that had tilted about 45 degrees,” George told Dori Monson Show listeners.

With little more than the clothes on their back, the Olsons and other neighbors were evacuated by fire crews because “the water was just pouring with debris, with rocks, with limbs,” Judy said.

“It was like a raging river,” she added. “We sunk up to our calves in muck and mud. It was horrible.”

While their home remained intact, crews turned off all the power and water to the cul-de-sac. The Olsons and their neighbors, meanwhile, were taken to a community center where the Red Cross provided aid and offered hotel accommodations.

But Judy refused.

“I’m not going to stay here,” she told Dori. “I have to find out what happened to my house.”

So she trudged back to her off-limits cul-de-sac, restricted by emergency tape. That’s where Dori said Judy essentially “broke into her own house.”

Once inside, with waning phone battery, Judy called George and advised him to stay in the hotel, while she guarded the home – which, she reminded Dori, “was not allowed.”

It turns out it was a good thing she stayed at her home. Even though emergency crews assembled in the street during the day, she hid from them – and Judy was on her own at night. With no utilities, her phone barely 30% powered, and facing a third sleepless night in 30-degree weather, she refused to give up her sentry.

“My fear was that someone was going to break in,” Judy said.

Early Thursday morning, somebody tried.

“I heard somebody on the deck. … It was happening,” Judy told listeners.

Fortunately, she says, George had given her a “large, scary-looking black pellet gun.” She toted it to where she could hear a potential looter beating — “bam, bam, bam” — at her door.

“Within 10 seconds, I saw legs,” she recalled. “The thing that I was worried about was happening.”

How did it end? Find out by listening to Dori’s entire interview with George and Judy Olson:

And how does George now feel about his defiant wife?

“I tell you, Dori, I feel a lot more safe because I have a bodyguard,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Gun-toting Bellevue woman scares off looter after area is evacuated for mudslide