|Published:||Jun 26, 2012 11:18 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 26, 2012 11:42 PM EDT|
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- One of Antonio Thomas' alleged victims is speaking out, and says she feared for her life.
Angela Robertson says Antonio Thomas approached her around 2 a.m. at a North Fort Myers 7-11 on June 13.
She says, "he grabbed my neck and tried to shove me back in the car and that's when I ducked down real fast and started screaming into the back of the store and called the cops."
Robertson says Thomas was actually polite to her.
"At first, he just came up right in my face and he said, 'get back in the car ma'am' and at first I thought, 'is the store being robbed?'," Robertson explained.
She says she was holding her money and purse in her hands, but he didn't seem to want them.
"I was trying to shove the door shut so he couldn't try to pry it back open and that's when I realized...he looked at me and I said, 'No!' And that's when I realized he doesn't want what I have on me physically, he wants what he can get from me, either kill me or rape me and that's when I knew I had to get away," she says.
Robertson says she went into survival mode.
"I kinda went into a 'no way are you getting me in that car' mode," she said.
Lee County Sergeant Stephanie Eller says that is exactly what they teach in their SAFE class for women. She says it is more of a mental preparation class, than a self defense class.
She says mental preparation is 90 percent of being able to survive an attack.
"Knowing that you are not going to be a victim, telling yourself you are not going to be a victim before you are in that situation, " she says.
She commends the women who were able to escape their attackers.
"I'm sorry that these ladies had to go through this, but I'm thrilled that they were able to overcome the obstacles that were before them. They were fighting for their lives and now they know that because we had a murdered victim out of that bunch. They survived and that's huge," she says.
She offers simple tips, such as walking far enough away from a building so someone can't jump from behind it and grab you, and keeping your keys next to your bed.
The sheriff's office will hold its next SAFE class on Saturday, July 14 from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. at the sheriff's office headquarters. The cost is $5. If you are interested in signing up, call 239-477-1400.
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