SAN ANTONIO – Curiosity might not be a cat’s best friend, but it may have saved a 70-year-old grandmother from harm Wednesday night.
An SUV fleeing the scene of a shooting at a nearby home, where the driver reportedly hit a car parked in a garage, careened through Maria Morales’s back fence and into the bedroom of her home in the 9000 block Wellwood Street at about 10:20 p.m.. Had she stayed in bed rather than getting up to see what was going on, the retired teacher believes she probably would have been injured.
As it was, Morales still had to dodge out of the way as the car plowed straight into the window out of which she had been looking.
“It’s God. You know, he protected me. That’s what I truly believe,” Morales said of her escape from any injuries. “He saved me and my doggies and the cat.”
Morales was nearly asleep in her bed when she says a loud “boom” sound caused her two dogs to start barking.
“And I said, ‘Well, that sounded like a crash,’” she recalled. “And I didn’t want to get up. But I said something told me, ‘Get up.’ I looked through the blinds, and I remember seeing in the alley here a lot of like smoke.”
The boom, she later realized, was likely the sound of the SUV hitting the garage door of a home farther up an alley at the back of her house. The smoke, she believes, may have been from the reported gunfire -- though she never heard any shots.
As she peered into the night from her bedroom window, Morales could hear a vehicle taking off.
As the SUV sped down the alley, away from the scene, police say the driver lost control and busted through Morales’s fence and into the back of her brick home.
Morales saw the vehicle heading for her and darted to the corner of the room, just a few feet from where the front of the car busted through the wall.
A treadmill between the broken wall and her bed seemed to hold up the vehicle, which she said kept coming forward.
”The treadmill kind of, I think, held him back. But at the same time, the car was stronger. So it pushed the bed. It pushed a chair. And the walls are all messed up -- the sheetrock where the chair was -- because that’s how far it pushed it in,” she said.
Morales never got a good look at the driver. The windows were tinted, she said, and she was preoccupied with ensuring her dogs were safe.
The driver was finally able to back out of the home and take off again, leaving a bumper with a license plate behind.
As of 1 p.m. Thursday, San Antonio police said no arrests had been made in the case, which was still an active and ongoing investigation.