Maine Woman Fakes Heart Attack to Scare Off Home Intruder

An 80-year-old Hampden woman who was watching the Super Bowl alone faked a heart attack to scare off a man who had broken into her home and was pushing her toward the bedroom, police said.

Daniel Thanem, 45, of Winterport was arrested a short time later and charged with aggravated criminal trespass and assault. Thanem is a convicted sex offender in Alabama, police said.

The woman was watching Sunday night's Super Bowl when she spotted a man walking through her house, said Hampden police Sgt. Dan Stewart. When she asked the man what he was doing, he grabbed her from behind and began pushing her toward the bedroom.

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Stewart said the woman pretended she was having a heart attack and told the intruder her heart medication was in her car in the garage. After they retrieved the medication, the man fled.

"The lady had enough common sense to keep her wits about her to fake a heart attack and avoid becoming another victim," Stewart said.

Thanem was arrested minutes later near the home by police on routine patrol.