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Karen Perrin locked in bathroom: Claustrophobic woman smashes way out of room

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Karen Perrin, a claustrophobic woman who found herself locked in a bathroom at work for over eight hours, recently decided to be her own knight in shining armor by smashing her way out of the bathroom bit by bit. Perrin is the wife of Lonnie Perrin, the past Washington Redskins running back, but proved this week she has quite a backbone herself, reports this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.

After finding herself locked in a women’s employee bathroom, the claustrophobic Karen Perrin — over the course of eight hours — smashed her way through a whitewall and managed to open a door to freedom. Perrin was working at the time of the incident as a senior assistant secretary in D.C. for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

After using the bathroom late at night on Friday once most of the other employees had gone home, Perrin realized that she left her cellphone back on her desk. When she went to open the door to leave the bathroom, she found herself locked inside. The lock wouldn’t move even after she struggled against it, including kicking and banging, she said, and her claustrophobic fears began to set in.

Several minutes passed, and though Perrin began yelling for help from anyone who could hear her, the employee soon realized that she was alone in a locked bathroom, trapped for who knows how long, she thought — it was, after all, a Friday night. Karen Perrin added that she knew she had to get out of the closed space, somehow, before her claustrophobia took over.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I felt hopelessness. I felt like I was going to die in there because of the anxiety I was feeling.”

Her first course of action was to fling towels underneath the locked bathroom door, hoping that the frequent motion might attract the worry of security guards watching any surveillance tapes. Yet that smart idea failed to work for Perrin, so she began to quite literally smash her way out through the wall, bit by bit.

“I probably put 200 towels out,” Perrin recalls. “But after nobody came to rescue me, I realized I had to do something else.”

Karen Perrin found an abandoned metal rod in the bathroom, and used it as a tool to carve her way through the white walls and make it safely to the door and freedom after a harrowing eight hours, bringing her into the national spotlight this week.



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