A woman chisels her way out of a locked bathroom at her D.C. workplace after being trapped inside for eight hours. Claustrophobic and filled with anxiety, when Karen Perrin realized she was stuck and couldn’t get out she started to fall to pieces, according to News One on Dec. 12.
Karen Perrin, who is the wife of former Washington Redskins running back Lonnie Perrin, works at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington D.C.. She was working late, so the building wasn’t as bustling as usual. She left her cell phone on her desk to use the bathroom at about 10 p.m. on Friday night.
After washing her hands she went to open the bathroom door and it wouldn’t budge. It was as if it were locked from the outside. Her fear of closed places put her in a high-anxiety mode, but she kept busy conjuring up ways to try and escape.
First she thought if she could make some movement out in the hall, she’d be picked up on the security camera and someone would come to rescue her. Perrin said she must of pushed 200 paper towels through the crack under the door and into the hallway to make some movement, but no one came.
Next she used a chair and tried to lift herself through a hatchway door in the ceiling, but she couldn’t lift herself up that far. She did find a three-foot steel bar and her memory of the movie “Shawshank Redemption“ kicked in.
Perrin used the rod to chisel a hole in the bathroom wall near the door. Hours went by as she broke through the tile, then the other layers of the wall. She was finally to make an opening in the wall big enough to get her hand out and turn the bathroom door knob from the other side. That worked, she was able to get the door open.
She immediately called her husband and daughter to let them know of her ordeal. Then she went home being proud of herself to think straight enough while anxiety ridden to claw her way out. Why that bathroom door didn’t open remains a mystery today, but it is safe to say that Perrin will probably bring her cell phone with her everywhere, especially when she needs to use the bathroom at work.