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Pittsburgh woman fights off attempted rape with knees and keys

May 18, 2010

After all was said and done, a 23-year-old victim of attempted rape said she plans to take self-defense classes.

She’s already off to a good start.

The woman was out for an evening stroll in the suburbs of Pittsburgh last night when she narrowly escaped a sexual attack. She was ambushed in a dark alley.

Sketch of man wanted for attempted rape in Shaler Township, just north of Pittsburgh

WANTED: Police released this composite sketch of the man wanted for attempted rape just north of Pittsburgh. Photo via

A single mother, the woman said she walks the same route with her young daughter. Last night, she was alone when she crossed paths with a six-foot, slim white male.

He threw her against a garage wall and tried to rip off her clothes, saying in vulgar language he was going to rape her. She said she could smell alcohol on his breath.

But the woman wasn’t about to give up without a fight. She kneed the perpetrator in the groin and struck him on the side of the head with her keys. The man then punched the victim in the face, and she fought back with another knee to the groin.

At that point, the man thew her to the ground and ran away. The victim suffered cuts and bruises, but other than that, she’s OK.

It was textbook self defense. Go for the groin, use any weapon at your disposal, and don’t stop until he lets you go.

When asked by local media why she fought back, she said she felt she didn’t have a choice. “It was either that or I was going to end up getting raped,” she told reporters.

At a news conference, local police said the women did the right thing.

“She refused to accept what was about to happen to her, and her fortitude forced this man away. I think she really defended herself out there.”

Neighbors reacted as they often do: “It’s very surprising. This kind of stuff never ever happens around here. It’s a very safe neighborhood.”

If I had a dime for every time I heard those words ….

After the assault, the woman told reporters she was going to carry pepper spray and take self defense classes. She also said she got some good advice from officials.

“If someone attacks you, try to get their blood on you so [investigators] can get DNA.”

Attempted rape reported by and the

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