By: Jenn Schanz
Police say a 20–year–old woman walking her dog just after midnight Friday used pepper spray to get away from a man who grabbed her from behind.
He took off running and screaming.
Just two days later, a 22–year–old was abducted near 10th and P while waiting for a ride home around 2 a.m. Sunday.
A man forced her into a waiting car and took her for a 20 minute ride on I–180.
He drove the car while another man tried to sexually assault her in the back seat.
She got away too. "She was able to fight them off and plead with the men to let her go," says Officer Katie Flood of the Lincoln Police Department.
The two suspects are described as Middle Eastern, with short hair and are clean shaven.
The car is described as a black four- door, maybe a Volkswagen Jetta.
Police do not believe the two attempts were related, and say all three suspects are still on the loose.
So what can women do to protect themselves?
Jeff Dousharm, a seventh degree black belt and instructor at Tiger Rock Academy, says it's all about taking action.
"It's kind of shocking to the attacker, they don't expect that. They expect a victim, and so when you show them something other than a victim, that makes them re–think things. And while they're re–thinking, you can be getting away," he says.
Teaching public safety and rape prevention, he says the key to getting away from an attacker is to stun them, get released from their grip, and run.
If an attacker grabs your wrist, you should turn your thumb downward, grab your hand, and twist your entire body, so you're taking advantage of angles.
If you're grabbed on the shoulders, grab your attackers thumbs and push down.
Once you're six steps away from your attacker, Dousharm says you're generally in the clear.
"Understanding that there are some simple ways to get away from that, to escape, then they can feel more empowered," he says.
To sign up for a self defense class at Tiger Rock Academy, you can visit their website at http://tracademy.com/ or call 402-483-1011.
To report an assault or an attempted assault, contact Crimestoppers at 402-475-3600 or the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-7204.
You can also report an assault anonymously online: http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/police/anon.htm.