While police are still searching for the suspect of an attempted abduction that occurred on Friday, citizens are gearing up to take initiative in promoting self-defense. Mayor Adam Stockford expressed in a Facebook post that a basic self-defense class in the city would be beneficial.
“People everywhere should always be ready to defend themselves or others,” Stockford said in an email. “It’s just a matter of being prepared which is a fundamental responsibility of being an adult.”
On Feb. 1 around 4 p.m., a 24-year-old female was walking home from Davis’s Economy Station and Dollar General in Jefferson Township, “when a truck stopped and a white male subject got out, grabbed her, and attempted to pull her into his vehicle,” according to a news statement from the sheriff’s office.
“She states that the male struck her in the face, telling her, ‘It will be easy and to get into the truck,’” the statement said.
The woman fought the attacker and was able to retreat to her home.
An image depicting the woman’s description of the suspect was produced by the Michigan State Police Forensic Artist Division. At press time, the suspect was not found. The forensic artist’s rendering of the suspect has been shared on social media.
“We put it out to social media with the sketch drawing, but we have no more details about the subject,” Sheriff Tim Parker said Tuesday. “We do have the vehicle identified as being involved in the incident.”
The Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit seized the Dodge truck shown in a video released by the sheriff’s office and processed the reported suspect pickup truck.
“The owner of the truck has been interviewed and is not believed to be a suspect at this time in the investigation,” a news statement said. “Multiple interviews have been conducted and the Sheriff’s Office continues to be vigorously follow up on all leads on the case.”
Parker said that all people should be aware of their surroundings and have a plan in such situations.
“Be prepared to fight back if you were to be abducted,” Parker said.
Stockford said the self-defense class could involve learning how to leverage someone’s body weight, temporarily incapacitate someone, or exercise the second amendment right to bear arms.
“It’s a most American virtue to defend your person and property,” he said. “Most people hope they never have to be in a situation where you have to but we recognize that we don’t have control over others’ actions and behavior.”
A free, basic self-defense class for women and children will be held at 5 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Hillsdale Preparatory School Gym, 160 W. Mechanic St. The class will be hosted by trained, local individuals who will teach basic striking, wall-assault escape techniques, ground-assault escape techniques.
“I’d love to see more options in this area for those purposes,” Stockford said. “There’s some great instructors in Hillsdale County and you don’t have to look hard to find them.”