lay about one

[lay about one] {v. phr.} To hit out in all directions. - Used witha reflexive object: "her", "him", or "them".

The bandits surroundedthe sheriff, but he laid about him so hard, with his gun used as aclub, that they stepped back and let him escape.

Mrs. Franklindidn't kill the mouse, but she laid about her so hard with the broomthat she scared it away.