Assault prompts defense classes

January 28, 2006

The Hood River City Police Department will teach area women basic defense skills — and ways to avoid becoming the victim of an attack.

Capt. Kevin Lynch said a free class has been scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and another at the same time on Feb. 8. He will be assisting Officer Erin Mason, certified in defensive tactics, and Officer Mike Martin, certified ground fighting instructor, in the wrestling room at Hood River Valley High School.

Lynch said the classes are intended to calm citizen fears following two January attacks. He said the recent incidents have sparked a lot of anxiety for area families. And unfounded rumors have begun circulating around the city about other assaults, which has just increased the level of concern.

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls from women asking what they can do to stay safe. So we decided this was something that we could do to help out,” said Lynch.

He said participants will be taught defensive and escape skills to use against an attacker. However, Lynch said equally important will be instruction about how to avoid getting caught in a bad situation.

“Half of the battle is to be thinking ahead so that you can plan to stay out of harm’s way,” he said.

Class sizes are limited to 30 people and Lynch said any teenage or adult female interested in signing up is welcome to call his direct line at 387-5255. If more people are interested than can be accommodated in the two sessions, Lynch said other classes will be held in the near future.

“We will make sure that any woman who wants to learn these skills has the opportunity,” he said.

On Monday, a Hood River woman reported that she had been physically restrained from behind by an unknown male. She said the attempted assault had occurred about 1 a.m. while she was walking her dog near the intersection of Eighth Street and Pacific Avenue.

The victim fought off the unseen suspect and fled to her home where she called 9-1-1 for help. Neither Police Chief Bruce Ludwig nor Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler believes that incident is related to the Jan. 12 rape of a Markham Road woman.

In that incident, the victim had gone outside her home about 5:30 a.m. to investigate why her dog was barking. She was sexually assaulted by a man who then fled on foot.

By working with a forensic artist from Clackamas County, the woman came up with a composite sketch of her attacker. She believes he was a Hispanic male who stood about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed about 190 pounds. He was wearing dark rain clothing with a bandana underneath his hood.

Anyone with information on either case is asked to call Sheriff’s Detective Gerry Tiffany at 387-6846 or City Detective Stan Baker at 387-5251.

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For a sketch of the Barrett Drive suspect and other details, go to: www.hoodrivernews.com

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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