PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — The woman who escaped a violent attempted abduction in the Eastmoreland area of southeast Portland early Wednesday said she thought she was going to die, but she was determined to fight.
The woman, who spoke anonymously, said she was walking home from the grocery store around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, listening to earbuds. She was on Southeast Bybee near 27th when she heard a couple of footsteps and then a man grabbed her from behind and pinned her arms to her side.
“He covered my mouth and started dragging me through the grass into the parking lot,” she said, referring to the golf course parking lot nearby. “I was screaming ‘help’ but no one could hear me.”
The woman, 22 years old, said she kept fighting her attacker, throwing punches and screaming. At one point, she said the man grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head back, then pushed her to the ground.
She thought she was being robbed and told the man to take her money.
“He didn’t respond to that and then he told me to get up.…That was when he opened the back of the hatchback to his SUV,” she recalled. “All of the back seats were out and there was just this gray or white tarp laying down and some bungees or ropes sitting in the corner, and that was when I just freaked out.…When I saw that tarp, the worst thoughts came into my mind, I was thinking either rape or he was going to kill me.”
Determined to do everything in her power to get away, she said she kept fighting her attacker, digging her heels into the ground and trying to get away from the car.
“I have way too much to live for for this to be the end tonight,” she said of her thoughts at the time.
She said the struggle lasted several minutes, and finally, her attacker gave up.
“I’d been screaming for a while at that point, and I think he got scared… I think he realized it wasn’t going to go down the way he thought it was,” she said. “That’s the point when he told me to run. He said, ‘Run, keep running.’ …I’m lucky he let me go.”
She went to a nearby home for help, and woke up a sleeping husband and wife by repeatedly ringing their doorbell. They took her inside and called 911.
Portland Police are still looking for her attacker, who she describes as a man in his 30’s who is either white, Hispanic or mixed race. He has an oval-shaped face, no facial hair and a thick build. He’s about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, jeans and work boots.
The SUV he tried getting her into is described as newer model with a split-opening tailgate, where the glass pulls up and the tailgate goes down.
Police are asking anyone in the area to check for surveillance footage that may show the man, as police – and the victim – warn others to never walk alone, especially with earbuds. Be vigilant about your surroundings and take self-defense classes or carry pepper spray.
“He definitely had that planned out to a T. He was there that night looking for a girl with my description that would be easy prey, or who he thought would be easy prey,” the victim said. “The fact that there are people out there like that is the most worrisome part.”