She took the law into her own hands
Reprinted from Chicago Tribune, April 29, 1993
Mike Royko

We've had the year of the woman and it is still going on, with females being elected to high office, named to Cabinet posts, and the power of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But what about Curtescine Lloyd? You never hear of her? Well, she is my choice as one of the most amazing and heroic women of recent years.

Ms. Lloyd is a middle-age nurse who lives with an elderly aunt in the rural hamlet of Edwards, Miss., near Jackson.

This is her story, most of it taken from a court transcript.

One night, Ms. Lloyd was awakened by a sound. She thought it was her aunt going to the bathroom.

Suddenly a man stepped into her bedroom. Terrified, she sat up. He shoved her back down and said: "Bitch, you better not turn on a light. You holler, you're dead. You better not breathe loud."

He declared his intentions, which were to rob her and commit sexual assault. Of course he phrased it far more luridly.

Then he took off most of his clothing and jumped into bed.

Here is what happened next, according to court records:

Ms. Lloyd: "I got it. I grabbed it by my right hand. And when I grabbed it I gave it a yank. And when I yanked it, I twisted all at the same time."

(Need I explain what Ms. Lloyd meant by "it"? I think not.)

"He hit me with his right hand a hard blow beside the head, and when he hit me I grabbed hold to his scrotum with my left hand and I was twisting it the opposite way. He started to yell and we fell to the floor and he hit me a couple of more licks, but they were light licks. He was weakening some then."

With Ms. Lloyd still hanging on with both hands, squeezing and twisting the fellow's pride and joy, they somehow struggled into the hallway.

"He was trying to get out, and I'm hanging on to him; and he was throwing me from one side of the hall wall to the other. I was afraid if I let him go, he was going to kill me.

"So I was determined I was not going to turn it loose. So we were going down the hallway, falling from one side to the other, and we got into the living room and we both fell. He brought me down right in from of the couch and he leaned back against the couch, pleading with me.

"He says, 'You've got me, you've got me, please, you've got me.' I said, 'I know damn well I got you.' He said, 'Please, please, you're killing me, you're killing me. ... I can't do nothing. Call the police, call the police.'

"I said, 'Do you think I'm stupid enough to turn you loose and call the police?' He said, 'Well, what am I gonna do?' I said, 'You're gonna get the hell out of my house.' He said, 'How can I get out of your house if you won't let me go? How can I get out? I can't get out.'

"I said, 'Break out, son-of-a-bitch, you broke in, didn't you?' And I was still holding him.

"He said, 'Oh, you've got me suffering, lady, you've got me suffering.' I said, 'Have you thought about how you were going to have me suffering?' He said, 'Well, I can't do nothing now.' I said, 'Well, that's fine.' "

Ms. Lloyd, still twisting and squeezing, dragged the lout to the front door, which had two locks, and told him to unbolt them.

It was difficult process because he kept collapsing to the floor and she kept hauling him back to his feet.

When he finally unlocked the doors, he screamed: "I'm out, I'm out."

But Ms. Lloyd, now confident that she had the upper hand (or should I say the lower hands?) and a full grasp of the situation, said: "No, damn it, I'm taking your ass to the end of the porch. And when I turn you loose, I'm going to get my gun and I'm going to blow your [obscenity] brains out, you nasty, stinking, low-down dirty piece of [obscenity], you.

"And when I did that, I gave it a twist, and I turned him loose. And he took a couple of steps and fell off the steps and he jumped up and grabbed his private parts and made a couple of jumps across the back of my aunt's car.

"And I ran into my aunt's room, got her pistol from underneath the nightstand, ran back to the screen door, and I fired two shots down the hill the way I saw him go. And then I ran back in the house and dialed 911."

The police came and examined the man's clothing. Inside the trousers was written the name Dwight Coverson. They found Coverson, 29, at home in considerable pain and wondering if he could ever be a daddy.

A one-day jury trial was held. As Coverson's court-appointed lawyer put it: "The jury was out 10 minutes. Long enough for two of them to go to the bathroom."

And the judge gave him 25 years in prison.

The defense lawyer also said that Ms. Lloyd was recently on a local Mississippi TV news show and mentioned that she had been contacted about a possible movie of her story.

That is a film I would pay to see.

As for Coverson, if this column should find its way to his prison, I hope the guys in his cellblock don't giggle too much.