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Police: Woman attacked outside SLC restaurant fought back

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Mar 20th, 2013 @ 7:08pm



SALT LAKE CITY — The search continued Wednesday for a man who stabbed a woman in the neck outside a Salt Lake City restaurant Tuesday night.

The 40-year-old woman was walking home from the Salt Lake City Main Library and took the path behind the Faustina Restaurant, 454 E. 300 South, about 8 p.m. when she said a man grabbed her purse and attempted to run.

The woman tried to hang on to her purse when the man attacked her.

"Suddenly she felt what she described as these punches to her neck," said Salt Lake police detective Dennis McGowan. "It turned out the person who was assaulting her was using some sort of sharp-edged weapon."

The woman defended herself as best she could, finally seeking help at the restaurant.

"She was able to fight back, essentially make a lot of noise," said McGowan. "That caused him to flee soon after the attack began."

The woman suffered a deep cut to her neck and behind her ear, said McGowan. Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Stories like this one spark interest in self-defense.

"All of us have a will to survive," said Joseph Bolega, grand master at East West Martial Arts. "We just need to practice it and not get too complacent. It can happen anytime to all of us anywhere."

Bolega teaches students to use hard parts of the body like elbows against soft parts of an attacker's body, specifically eyes and throat. Still, he said physical violence is a last resort.

That means not sacrificing safety for property.

"Don't get hurt of die for things," Bolega said; "not for car keys, not for money. Everything is replaceable except for life."

McGowan said it wasn't clear Wednesday whether the attack was completely random.

Detectives were looking Wednesday for a white man, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with brown hair and facial stubble. The only other description provided to police was he was wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with information on the robbery can call police at 801-799-6397.

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