Archive for Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some simple steps can keep us safer from violent attacks

Local self defense classes have reported higher enrollment recently. Many users of an area bike path are on edge after a woman was beaten in a daytime attack.

June 22, 2010


Last week’s attempted sexual assault and brutal stabbing of a 23-year-old woman — in the middle of the afternoon — left those who use the South Lawrence Trafficway bike path feeling uneasy.

“I would never imagine something like that would happen here,” 19-year-old Nathaniel Mehl said.

Mehl jogs on the path regularly and happened to be running on the afternoon of June 16, when he helped stop the attack in progress.

Those who teach self-defense classes in Lawrence said the incident has sparked an increased interest, especially among women concerned for their safety.

Robert Riley, owner of Lawrence Jiu-Jitsu, 315 N. Second St., said he offers a class specifically designed for women, hoping to give them the skills and confidence to fend off an attack.

“The most important thing I always want to instill in all of my students is the willingness to engage,” Riley said. “Have that be your instinct in lieu of just freezing up and not knowing what to do.”

Riley said Brazilian jiu-jitsu is one of the few self-defense systems designed to give a weaker person the ability to subdue a much larger attacker, but the different holds and techniques are not something that can be learned in a one-day seminar.

“Everyone needs to understand that self-defense is not something you can learn by reading a pamphlet,” Riley said. “It might take months, or even up to a year, to be proficient, to learn how to defend yourself adequately.”

Riley did offer some tips for women. If you find yourself in a similar situation, he suggests making as much noise as possible to draw attention to yourself. If you are going to be out jogging or biking in an isolated area, carry a whistle, wear a body alarm or carry pepper spray.

Police said the secluded location of the bike path makes it a difficult area for officers to patrol.

“There is no easy way to get to it,” Lawrence police Sgt. Bill Cory said. “It is so far out on the edge of town, and call volumes can keep us from getting out there on a routine basis.”

Police encourage people who use the bike path to be vigilant.

“Citizens just need to be aware of their surroundings,” Cory said. “Know who you are coming up against, who you are passing. If you’re riding on that path and you’re coming up on someone who looks out of the ordinary and you feel uncomfortable, turn around, go the other way and call police.”


teri pettengill 7 years, 5 months ago

I would also like to suggest, you not use your Ipod or music players. Keep your ears free to hear anything and everything around you.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

A short-barreled .38 also makes a lot of noise.

50YearResident 7 years, 5 months ago

Did any of you people complaining about the new concealed carry program that would have all the "rambo types" taking the law into their own hands and shooting all the innocent bystanders notice it hasn't happened yet. I bet some of you now are not worried as much about that happening.

Matt Schwartz 7 years, 5 months ago

'keep your ears free'..great point....first thing i thought of....maybe not an issue in the last assault, but a great point none the less. getting dragged off of your bike and being over whelmed by your attacker....gun won't help you there. doesn't matter what you would have done in that situation, were not there.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

"...gun won't help you there." If that gun at home, it sure won't help. Better a .22 you have in your hand than a .45 locked up in the safe.

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

beo, ya gotta just stop postin', man. Your hate and idiocy is mind-boggling.

Tryin' to jog with a gun isn't realistic nor is it something most women want to carry. I would suggest one of those metal, telescoping batons, pepper spray, or a light blinder; easier to manuever and operate even if someone is already upon you.
And at night, when alone, ladies think ahead and have your phone open and 911 punched in already.

whats_going_on 7 years, 5 months ago

better yet, don't run alone at night, not a good idea.

kusp8 7 years, 5 months ago

JKealing what's up with the formatting on the article? It looks really weird.

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes snap, because it is so easy to go biking when holding your gun. Geez, is a gun really the first thing some people think of when they think self defense? That is amazing to me. Really.

Without training, that gun could like be about as useful as an ipod. If it isn't automatic for you to turn off the safety before firing, then in a moment of terror then you may just be pulling the trigger of a gun that has been turned off. Then it can be taken away and used against you. That would be the opposite of self defense.

Yes, some simple steps like not zoning out your surroundings by having earplugs blasting away is useful, and using common sense is good, but in reality, the steps to be able to actually defend yourself from an attacker likely isn't a "simple step" as the headline claims. It takes training, be it with a gun or in the martial arts of some type, and it takes practice, exercise, and still more training. If you are going to rely on something to protect yourself, be confident that you know how to use it when the time calls, be it your fists and feet or your weapon.

Beob, just for the record, not all gun owners are fat rednecks ... they just too often seem to be the loudest about being gun owners.

Sparko 7 years, 5 months ago

Someone who preys on others has all the advantages, striking by total surprise. That is why the who gun argument is idiotic. An attacker can also be armed. You do have to limit your exposure to isolated areas, be aware of your surroundings, and give yourself escape opportunities. Noise is good. Having a dog with you when you jog or exercise, and at home is a great idea too. Dogs dissuade more home invasions than ADT. They give you time and a warning.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

Being aware and sensible does not mean living in fear. It just means being aware and sensible and not taking stupid chances---and possibly being alive and not dead.

tubs_of_love 7 years, 5 months ago

I have a friend that has a sharp, hard plastic key chain that is used somewhat like brass knuckles. It's small and lightweight and when paired with some training, could really hurt.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

Don't be afraid to look silly. If someone seems to be following you, just run or even scream. Better to look silly than be attacked.

And it can't be emphasized too much to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Always lock your car doors as soon as you get in the car, even in the daytime. When going from the car to your house or from a building to your car, have your keys in your hand---don't stand in front of the door searching for them.

backyardwino 7 years, 5 months ago

Reticent has it...the old fashioned buddy system!!!

Louis White 7 years, 5 months ago

Look, this guy was in some auopilot mode to insert his penis into a struggling woman and then vanquish her with a knife IN PUBLIC. Some things just cannot be anticipated.

somedude20 7 years, 5 months ago

You could try the old "I have an infectious disease and if you get closer, I will spit on you" defence

Stu Clark 7 years, 5 months ago

none2, That product description really makes me cringe. It also reminds me of WW2 stories of Chinese women inserting razor blades in anticipation of beinng raped by Japanese soldiers.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Pepper spray seems like the best option to me.

And, of course, being aware of your surroundings, and not taking unnecessary risks.

Robert Rauktis 7 years, 5 months ago

The gun nuts have nothing else useful in their pants.

livefoniks 7 years, 5 months ago

Maybe she should have tried biking in a suit of armor.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

From the article---"There is no easy way to get to it,” Lawrence police Sgt. Bill Cory said. “It is so far out on the edge of town, and call volumes can keep us from getting out there on a routine basis.”

gogoplata 7 years, 5 months ago

I love jiu jitsu but this is a gun fighting country. It's better to have a gun.

somedude20 7 years, 5 months ago

seems like Lawrence is becoming knife country

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

Put police on the bike paths often instead of downtown...

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Then crime downtown would probably increase.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

Wear cheerful bright clothing while legally packing heat.

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