A woman reported that she was attacked while driving her car from someone hiding in the back seat. (The RPD news release can be found here.) You may want to read the entire press release before continuing reading my post.
First let’s get a few things cleared up. “Women are being attached by people hiding in their cars” – IS NOT the conclusion that we should make. So far this is an isolated instance (at least here in Roswell).
I doubt that this was a random victim selection. Based on the crime it would seem that the attacker knew the victim somehow. Most criminals want to be safe while they are committing crimes. Choosing a random car that happens to have unlocked doors and hoping that the person coming back doesn’t spot a person in the back seat area (and then hopefully not have a gun) seems like too much risk for the average criminal.
It will be interesting to follow the investigation. The woman reportedly had scratches on her neck where the attacker was “trying to cut her neck with something”. Um… someone hides in the back seat, gets a surprise jump on the driver and is unable to successfully cut the neck of the driver – sounds suspicious to me. My guess is that the scratches are due to fingernails and that the attacker was trying to choke the driver. Under an adrenal stress situation the driver could easily over estimate the scratching of fingernails to seem like “cutting”.
There is no doubt that this was a horrible experience for the driver. Hopefully she recovers quickly both physically and mentally.
So what should you do in this situation?
I would like to tell you that grabbing the arm that is across your body with both of your hands and yanking down will help. I would suggest that grabbing the arm with one hand while slamming the brakes is good. I would like to say that reaching behind you and finding the attackers eyes to gouge is good. But I won’t.
The best piece of advice I can give you is to lock your car doors while you are in shopping and to visually inspect the back seats before getting in your car. Be aware of your surroundings – both those behind you and in front of you. It’s not paranoia it’s personal protection.