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February 28, 2009

Women learn self-defense at class

When Alisha Jones first heard about the man who had allegedly attacked several women in the county, she decided to do something to protect herself and her family.

“I’m a stay at home mom, so I feel like its best to know what to do,” Jones said.

Jones was one of 15 women who participated Thursday in the Cullman Police Department’s latest Equalizer Women’s Self Defense classes. Jones said she joined the class because of the suspected attacker, especially since she is a resident of Good Hope.

A man described as a Hispanic wearing a hoodie and carrying a pistol allegedly broke into a Good Hope woman’s home last week and raped her. The incident was the third out of four attacks against women allegedly committed by the same individual.

In each case the suspect was armed with a handgun and attacked women in broad daylight. Only one of the women reported being raped, however, another woman stated she was beaten significantly. The other two women escaped without injury.

To date, local law enforcement have not developed any new leads as to the identity of the suspect.

Though Jones was only taking part in her second self-defense class Thursday, she said she had already learned many ways to protect herself.

“I felt so much better even learning a little bit ... I learned you need the courage to stand up for yourself,” Jones said.

Angel Bursell and her daughter Amber signed up for the classes before they knew about the attacks.

“My daughter lives alone and I told her if she’d come I’d come with her,” Bursell said.

Both are glad to have participated in the course, especially after learning about the attacks.

“We’ve learned quite a bit ... ways to not look like a victim,” Amber Bursell said.

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