Treme woman escapes attacker; warns others to stay vigilant

The attacker is still on the loose.
Published: May. 7, 2021 at 10:51 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Treme woman is coming forward after she says she narrowly escaped a sexual assault early Tuesday morning.

The woman is shaken but determined to get the word out about the horrific attack that happened on Marais street just a block or two from her own home.

“I just kept screaming and screaming and screaming, and eventually he just got up and ran the other way,” she said.

It was those screams for help that woke up some neighbors who called 911 and captured a portion of the incident on surveillance cameras.

“I was just walking home right down Marais, which I’ve taken hundreds of times,” she said.

It was around 4:20 a.m. on Tuesday. She had just gotten back from a birthday party and decided to take the short couple blocks to walk back alone heading towards Esplanade until a man caught up with her.

“He really didn’t come off as any sort of like a predator or like in a threatening manner, he really just kind of seemed like a guy trying to like hit on a girl,” she said.

He asked to walk her home several times, to which she politely declined. Then the situation took a turn.

“I felt him like start walking faster and get right next to me on the sidewalk, which obviously made me uncomfortable, so I went across the street to go to the other side, and when I was in the middle of the road is when I felt him put me in a chokehold and he grabbed me from behind the neck,” she said, breaking her composure.

The video we viewed doesn’t cover what happened next, but it’s a nightmare she’ll never forget.

“He dragged me to the other side of the road and threw me down on the ground and I started screaming, immediately, and he tried to cover my mouth with his hand, and then, with his other hand, tried to grab up my dress,” she said.

She was able to squirm away and continue screaming. What the video does show, is the man running away.

“You assume if you’re ever in that position that you know what you’ll do, that you’ll kick this way or you’ll scream or punch him this way,” she said.

She was able to get home and call the police herself, escaping with some injuries to her wrist from the tackle.

“Just stay vigilant, I always think that I am, but I probably would have heard him coming up sooner if I didn’t have a headphone in,” she said. “I was as polite as I needed to be, but I should have just walked away.”

Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim, but now, this woman is hyper-aware of keeping to well-lit areas with her pepper spray in hand, not in her purse.

“I will never regret my $8 Uber ride two blocks away now because that’s really would have saved me a lot that night,” she said.

The woman wasn’t able to get a great description of her attacker in the dark, only that he was maybe in his mid to late twenties around 6 feet tall, wearing a black t-shirt with a white decal and dark jeans.

NOPD is investigating this reported incident of sexual battery. If anyone has any information, call the police.

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