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St. Petersburg woman fends off intruder. Readers offer advice on guns, jobs, proposals




St. Petersburg Times reporter Stephanie Hayes writes about Alexandra Kensler, 19, who thwarted what could have been a very bad home invasion. Recently, Kensler stood up to man who tried to pry his way into her St. Petersburg house.

Hayes tells of Kensler's rough childhood, how she started drinking, smoking and experimenting with drugs by age 11. While on drugs, she got expelled from school twice. She got in violent fights and sat in her share of cop cars.

Eventually, Kensler did an 11-month stint at rehab and has been sober for two years.

Early one morning last week, Kensler confronted a stranger at her door with a knife in her hand. She scared him off, called police, then followed him in her truck until he was arrested.

Police arrested Robert Kilker, 49, a registered sex offender who lives in St. Petersburg. Kilker was charged with armed burglary and failure to update his sex offender status.

The story is one of the most discussed and most viewed on today. While many readers have praised Kensler for her bravery, others have questioned her decision to not call police first. Here's a sampling of what readers are saying:

"A knife is good but he could have taken it away and used it on her. Glad he didn't," wrote James from Largo. "A .40 cal would have ensured that he never attempted a sexual assault again. She is lucky."

"Indeed, it worked out *this time* but it is circumstances like this where being armed is warranted," wrote Zander. "I'll bet she'll be buying a gun in the next six months to adequately protect herself."

John from Tampa wrote: "Good for her, but he could have had a gun instead of a knife. Size is no indication of what a person can/can't do to another. She should have called 911 & not confronted him, though I understand why she did.

"Sounds like she's a tough cookie. You go, girl!" wrote DF from St. Pete.

Kensler wants to be a firefighter, but Sue from St. Pete had another suggestion: "How about being a police officer?"

Mike from Tampa said: "I will hire you to keep security at my house, if you want."

Scott from St. Pete had a different kind of proposal: "Marry me."

Read the story, share your  feedback.

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:57pm]


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