crime prevention Personal Safety Self Defense Tips Violent Crime

Eyes in the back of your head

Based on the reports of three women being attacked from behind in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park a couple of weeks ago it would seem that there is definitely a need for having eyes in the back of your head.

The most recent victim, Lisa Dodge, fought back after she was attacked from behind and knocked to the ground, where she continued to fight with her assailant. He eventually ran off with her purse.

Dodge was the third woman attacked, and it happened April 4 around 11:30 p.m. as she left a cab to enter the courtyard of her apartment building.

The other two attacks happened March 30 and April 2, both around the same time, and both close to Lake Street between Austin Boulevard and Oak Park Avenue.

In each instance the suspect placed the women in a chokehold and demanded money.

What can you do to protect yourself?

1. If you are walking by yourself at night you need to raise your awareness and look ahead for places where muggers might be hiding. 

2. Do not use ear buds or headphones when you are walking alone.

3. Look behind you to see if anyone is there, especially after passing an area where someone could have been hiding

4. If someone is approaching from behind, cross the street and start looking for a safe place to run to, such as an open business or where other people might be walking.

5. If you are carrying mace/pepper spray put it in your hand and be mentally prepared to use it.  It should not be buried in the bottom of your bag. 

Above all you need to give some thought about whether you are going to fight over your belongings and risk possible injury or if you will give the mugger what they want and escape unharmed.

Our next article, “Anatomy of a mugging Part-1” will focus on how Lisa Dodge responded to her assailant’s demands for money.  We will discuss her detailed account of the event and offer more suggestions that might keep you from becoming a victim of this type of crime.

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Ed Kress
For over 40 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. With the help of local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed developed a program focused on personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains and a wide variety of martial arts techniques.

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