By: Lauren Fabrizi
A form of self–defense helped save a Lincoln woman just after midnight Friday while out walking her dog.
The incident happened outside an apartment near 70th and Holdrege. Police said it started with a quick hello between the 20-year-old woman and an unfamiliar man. Before the woman knew it, she was grabbed from behind by that same man.
Fortunately, she had pepper spray in hand.
"In this case, it was a prompt and excellent response by the victim," Officer Katie Flood of the Lincoln Police Department said. "She had that pepper spray ready and aimed it in the right direction, and definitely knew how to use it. We don't know the man's intentions, but I think she definitely avoided a far worse outcome."
Officer Flood said the suspect ran off. Flood described him as a black male, about 6–feet tall with a skinny build, and about 20 to 30-years-old with a deep voice.
Neighbors said the victim took the right precautions.
"That's very smart, especially walking at night," Jennifer Russell said. "Our neighborhood isn't a bad neighborhood, but any neighborhood can have bad people. So it's definitely a good thing she was carrying the Mace."
But Flood said those who want to carry pepper spray need to make sure how to use it.
"Sometimes people will buy it with the best intentions, but it's dangling on their key chain or it's relegated to the bottom of the bag," Flood said. "So by the time you're able to get your hands on it, it's not effective anymore."
Flood said it's also important to pay attention.
"Any time you're out late at night, do what she did," Flood said. "Be aware of your surroundings, have a plan of action in mind. Also try to stay in well lit areas."
The suspect is still on the loose. If you have any information, you are urged to call police.