Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wonder Woman Wednesday-faceless strength

Every time I teach women common sense self defense, one of the things I say most often is to fight back.  Fight back.  It’s better to die fighting at location A than to die on their terms with their plan in location B.  Fight back.  You are the only one responsible for your safety, so f.i.g.h.t.b.a.c.k.

I would like to introduce you to a young woman.  We do not have her name, just her story.

At 4 feet 8 inches tall and 80 pounds dripping wet, this 15-year-old is perfect for a quick nab and grab.  She entered the elevator in her building completely carefree.  Curtis Tucker followed her onto that elevator. 

Prosecutor Melissa Mourges explained the event:

 A grainy surveillance video shows the elevator stop at the girls floor, and then you could see her legs flailing as he threw her to the elevator floor which climbed to the top floor.  Tucker then dragged her out of the elevator and into the stairwell where the girl gave him all of the property she had, which included a student Metrocard and a one dollar bill.

Angered, Tucker punched her in the face because she wouldn’t stop screaming and choked her repeatedly, causing her to lose consciousness, but the girl kept fighting.  That’s what Curtis Tucker thought, but he got more than he bargained for.

Our young hero fought so fiercely that they tumbled down three flights of fire stairs.  Once at the bottom, Tucker pulled her pants down and tried to rape her, but she fought past him and ran to her apartment.

When she pounded on the door, her brother didn’t even recognize her at first.  She suffered a broken nose, black eyes, cuts and bruises to her entire body, and permanent disfigurement in the form of a torn lip that didn’t heal properly and is noticeable to this day.

At the crime scene, forensics analysts gathered clots of blood and clumps of hair as well as the Metrocard, a blood stain, and Tucker’s eyeglasses, which were used to piece together his DNA.

This terrible crime was unsolved for years until Tucker was picked up for an attack on a disabled 74-year-old in the same building.  He had to give a DNA sample, which led them to the attack on the teen years before.

Mourges told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Renee White that the girl was too traumatized to appear for sentencing stating, “She never felt safe again in her building, in her elevator, in her home. She was escorted by family every time she left her apartment for years after this happened.  Every time she looks in the mirror, she sees a reminder of what this defendant did.” Mourges explained.
Tucker was sentenced to 15 years, a sentence he will begin when he completes his sentence for a robbery in 2014.

Because this nameless young woman suffered an attempted rape and signs of that attack remain on her body, her bravery to fight back saved her life.   Because of that, Wonder Woman Wednesday goes to this nameless young woman who could be any one of us or any one of our children.  May she find hope through her survival and use it to lead others out of the darkness.  May we spread awareness so high and low that attackers are afraid that all women will fight back.  May this young woman give you cause to do hard things to push back the darkness. 

If you or someone you know has a story to tell, please email sunshine@yourdamseldiva and it may be a Wonder Woman Wednesday feature.

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