Police: 70-year-old woman tied up, held hostage for 8 hours

Anthony Brigitzer charged with kidnapping, battery
Posted at 10:34 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 23:26:23-04

North Port police officers arrested a convicted felon after they say he kept a 70-year-old woman tied up for several hours inside the victim's home in the 5700 hundred block of Espanola Ave. 

The victim, Mary Corbett, had hired Anthony Brigitzler to do yard work around her house several times in the past.

"I thought I knew this guy well enough to come in and have a cup of coffee and not try to kill me," said Corbett. 

But Corbett says the once friendly neighbor turned into a monster Wednesday morning because he was high on meth and looking to score drug money. 

"Hey says 'I'm going to tie you up, I'm on meth and I want money,'" said Corbett.  

Corbett became emotional Thursday describing the terrifying moments of the assault, just 24 hours after her release from an accused kidnapper. 

"I thought 'I'm going to die,'" recalled Corbett. "I did, and I just prayed, a lot." 

North Port police tell ABC Action News, Brigitzler has a lengthy criminal history who was just released from prison in August. He's been convicted of several felony crimes including gun possession, drug possession and trafficking in stolen property. 

Police say Brigitzler talked his way into Corbett's home around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday before attacking the woman who lived alone. 

"I was pushed up against the counter, then he got the taser and started tasering me," said Corbett. 

But the stun gun failed, so police say Brigitzer used duct tape to tie up his victim while he searched the house for valuables. 

"My hands were already tied behind my back, then he stuck a wash rag in my mouth and put tape over that," said Corbett. 

Corbett told ABC Action News, sweat loosened the duct tape placed over her nose and that that was the only way she could breath. 

Brigitzler stole Corbett's handgun and untied her nearly 8 hours later. 

A tip from Brigitzler's family led police to a hotel in Fort Myers where they arrested him for kidnapping, battery and grand theft of a firearm. He remains in jail with no bond.