The woman told authorities she was jogging at about 5: 30 a. m., Thursday, when a man grabbed her from behind, choked her and knocked her to the ground, the New York Police Department said. She said he raped the girl, stole her wallet plus phone and then fled on foot, according to police.
The victim was taken to a hospital in stable condition, law enforcement said. Authorities have taken a 29-year-old man into custody for questioning in connection with the rape, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
“WE ARE SICK & TIRED OF HAVING TO WATCH OUT FOR MEN JUST BECAUSE WE BREATHE. Carry keys to stab someone, carry tasers, stun guns, mace, bear spray, loud alarms. Knowing self-defense, becoming a gun owner, never going anywhere alone. HOW ABOUT MALES DO BETTER, ” a Twitter user wrote at the time .
“Women runners worry most about 2 things before a run-whether they’ll be abducted/assaulted/murdered or if they’ll be subjected to cat calls and being sexualized. Men worry about whether they should poop before or after their run. We are not the same, inch another published .
Ali Feller, host of the running-focused podcast “Ali on the Run Show, ” said the attacks are devastating for women who see running as a “safe space. inches
“What are we left with as women that just want to run, ” Feller told “Good Morning America . ” “For so many of us, running is the release. It is supposed to be our safe space, and it’s not. inch
She continued, “I just want all women to do what they can to stay secure, to protect themselves and to keep enjoying operating. ”
A self-defense expert’s advice for women
A 2017 survey by Runner’s World magazine found that more than half of women who else run stated they are concerned that they could be physically assaulted or receive unwanted physical contact during a run.
It is impossible to prevent every attack and women should not feel the pressure to do so, Jennifer Cassetta , the self-defense expert, public speaker and health coach, told ABC News inside 2018 , after the deaths that year of Wendy Martinez, in Washington, D. C., plus Mollie Tibbetts , within Iowa.
What ladies can do is empower on their own so they feel stronger and more confident out in the world, according to Cassetta.
The girl shared these three tips for women.
1 . Know the weapons you have on your body and how to use them
Run or walk powerfully with your shoulders back and head up, making eye contact with every person in your path, Cassetta recommended.
If you are attacked, dropping down to a squat or a lunge will drop your center of gravity and make you harder in order to throw to the ground, based on Cassetta.
The lady said if you’re able to fight back, aim for the attacker’s eyes, throat and groin, explaining, “Scratch or gouge the eyes, give a punch to the tonsils to disrupt breathing and give a strike or a knee or an elbow towards the groin. inches
2 . Be aware of your surroundings
Women should be “alert but calm” when they’re out and about, scanning for red flags and not getting too deep into thought, Cassetta said.
“When we’re becoming alert, our intuition is our inner GPS, it gives us signals and sends us messages, ” she said. “If we’re as well caught up in our to-do list or what we’re stressed about, we can’t hear it. ”
Cassetta also recommended designating a friend or even family member as your “safety buddy, ” the person you text to let know when and where you are working and when you will return.
3. Arm yourself
Cassetta suggested women arm themselves with self-defense tools such as pepper spray and a personal alarm.
“They cause you to that much more aware because you’re holding onto it and aware of it, ” she said, adding, “If you have pepper spray, make sure you know how to use it and have it accessible. ”
Fletcher’s death while out for a run quickly drew comparisons to the deaths of at least six women who in recent years were also each killed while running in their city or neighborhood streets: Sydney Sutherland , 25, whose body was discovered two days after the girl disappeared after going for a run in Jackson County, Arkansas; Tibbetts , who was found stabbed to death after going for a run near her Iowa home; Martinez , who was stabbed to death while jogging in a busy, well-lit area of Washington, D. C.; Karina Vetrano , who was discovered dead right after going on an evening jog near her New York home; Vanessa Marcotte , who was wiped out as she was out jogging in broad daylight in Massachusetts; and Ally Brueger, who was shot in the back whilst running in Michigan.
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.