Teen describes fighting off burglar

19-year-old chased man down, stabbed him

STARKE, Fla. – There was a certain calm in 19-year-old Ashleigh Elam's voice as she talked to a 911 dispatcher Wednesday night.

"Hi, somebody broke into my house. I came in, I tackled him and he stabbed me," Elam said in the call.

That calm was still there Thursday as she described walking into her house on State Road 16 in Bradford County and seeing a man inside going through her cabinets.

"I looked around to see what I could use to hit him with, and I found a knife, a little pocketknife that was sitting on the table," Elam said. "When I flicked it open, he heard me."

She said that's when the man took off and she ran after him. She chased him through the backyard, tackled him, then stabbed him with her knife.

"He rolled me over and started chocking me, and he put his knee on my wrist to make me release the knife, and when I released it, he went to stab me and I stopped his arm, rolled him over, and at that point he caught me in the leg," Elam said.

The burglar got away with his life, but not the things he was trying to steal -- Elam's bow and about $15 worth of change.

"I think that I'm just very prideful, and the fact that he was in -- he got into my house and he had my things, I didn't want to let him get away with it," Elam said.

Now the search continues for the suspect, but neighbors say they aren't worried.

"I have my gun permit, my concealed weapon permit, so yeah, I'm ready," neighbor Bonny Landry said. "If he knocks on my door, he better knock good."

Elam said she really wasn't afraid, and if ever faced with the same situation, she said she'd only change one thing.

"Get a bigger knife," she said.

The burglar was last seen wearing a black ski mask, long-sleeved dark shirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked  to call the Bradford County Sheriff's Office at 904-966-6161.