Elderly Texas Church Deacon Slugs It Out With Robbers

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SUNNYVALE (December 1, 2009)--A 77-year-old deacon at a Dallas-area church slugged it out with three robbers to protect Sunday's offering.

Dallas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kim Leach said the robbers fled with Bill Hammett's wallet and some cash, but Hammett said he got in some punches of his own in the confrontation Sunday at First Baptist Church in Sunnyvale, about 15 miles east of Dallas.

Hammett said church isn't a place for a fight, but "sometimes you have to defend yourself wherever you're at."

Hammett was attacked as he locked up thousands of dollars in collections while the service was underway in another part of the church.

Hammett, who was struck in the head and the neck with a club, was treated at University Medical Center in Dallas and was later released.