Self-defense helpful in situations like recent incidents in Naples Park

Published: November 17, 2020 9:07 PM EST
Updated: November 17, 2020 11:42 PM EST

The man who tried to kidnap a jogger and lure three other women in Naples Park recently is still on the loose. One of the victims says she got away from the man by kicking him and sprinting away from his van. All of the incidents happened in the early evening hours.

We went to a self-defense class Tuesday to learn about how to handle situations like an attempted abduction.

We were told something to keep on hand to use as protection are keys.

An instructor showed us some other ways to fend off an attacker, which is important in neighborhoods.

“The worst thing you can do is freeze up and not do anything,” said Tim Rupert, the instructor of Rupert’s Karate in East Naples.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office says a young woman who was grabbed and put into a van while she was out jogging in Naples Park did the opposite of freeze up.

“For self-defense, it does not matter how it looks,” Rupert said. “It does not matter how you look. Just do something to make sure you can get away free.”

According to reports, a victim was in fear for her life and kicked the man to get away while inside the van.

Rupert further explained things to do in a time self-defense.

“If you have more of a target, like the knee, you can pick your leg up and push down to the side,” Rupert explained.

He also explained more ways to get free from a possible attacker.

“If someone grabs your wrist, something you can do is take it towards a person and then guide your hand over the top of mine and pull it back to your chest,” Rupert said.

Three other women reported a similar man went up to them and asked them to help him look for his dog.

Rupert says, whenever you feel in danger, make some noise.

“A lot of people think you should yell help, but a lot of times, if you hear someone yell help, you think I don’t want to get involved in that,” Rupert said. “Yell fire, so someone hears and comes looking for the fire.”

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers received some tips, but investigators need more to catch the man.

Sketch of the suspect wanted in connection with the attempted kidnapping of a jogger and the luring of three other women all in Naples Park in November 2020. Credit: Collier County Sheriff’s Office.