Mom of three survives attack, takes safety into her own hands

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Kristen Leonard was on the porch of her home on 42nd street near the Butler campus Monday morning at 3:30 a.m. when a man attacked her. She'd been up late studying while her three girls were asleep. (WXIN photo)

Kristen Leonard was on the porch of her home on 42nd street near the Butler campus Monday morning at 3:30 a.m. when a man attacked her. She’d been up late studying while her three girls were asleep. (WXIN photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — A mother of three survived a terrifying crime this week, leading her to vow it won’t happen again.

Kristen Leonard was on the porch of her home near the Butler campus Monday morning at 3:30 a.m. when a man attacked her. She’d been up late studying while her three girls were asleep.

“I just happened to be up a little later than what I normally am and was out here because it was nice,” Leonard said.

He moved in quickly, whispering as he tried to grab hold of Leonard.

“(He) just really quietly said, ‘You’re going to come with me and nobody’s going to get hurt. If you do what I say, you won’t get hurt,” Leonard said.

He had a black hoodie over his head, mask covering his face and Leonard said he pulled out a knife.

“Out of instinct I grabbed it and it was huge. It wasn’t just some pocket knife,” Leonard said.

Her instinct took over and Leonard managed to distract him by offering up her purse. He took it, leaving her there.

“He was very casual and very calm. He wasn’t nervous at all. He knew what he was doing,” Leonard said.

Knowing she was lucky, Leonard went to Beech Grove Firearms on Wednesday to take a short lesson and shoot guns on the range.

She was far from the first victim to walk in the door there.

“I wish I could say I would be surprised, but in the day and age that we apparently all live in, it’s not surprising,” owner Greg Burge said.

Leonard kept true to her promise: she walked out with her own gun and planned to come back for lessons and practice.

“I feel a lot safer walking out of here and a lot more confident,” Leonard said.

She hoped that others would learn from her story, whether it be to arm themselves or just to be more aware of their surroundings. This is the second report of an attack by a masked man in her area in the past couple of months.

“Fight if you have to. No matter what they say, just fight any way that you can,” Leonard said.

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