Using self-defense on intruders, police still search for suspect who terrorized woman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — St. Pete detectives continue to search for a man who terrorized a woman in her home Wednesday evening.

After breaking into her home hours earlier, the intruder returned and crawled through her window.

He robbed her and then forced her to the room to lie on her bed. The victim acted quickly.

“I just said, ‘you can take my stuff, you can take everything that you want, but you can’t take my body,’ and, I just went for it,” said the woman.

News Channel 8 showed the video to self-defense instructor, Matt Dipietro.

“This crime starts to change from a property crime to a perversion or pleasure crime and she started to recognize that and she did the number one thing that we try to teach people,” said Dipietro.

He said her quick thinking saved her.

“She goes to the window though, she yells, she screams. That draws attention and the guy gets skittish, he jolts,” he said.

Dipietro, manager at Martial Arts Fitness, showed News Channel 8 several techniques used to fight off attackers.

“Hands up, always hands up,” he said.

He showed us how to also strike an attacker’s most vulnerable places.

“We talk about equalizers a lot. Equalizers are going to be hitting towards the throat area, the eyes the groins, all that stuff,” said Dipietro.

Dipietro showed us a home intruder drill, which helps victims focus on safety and security to protect themselves.

“When you’re in your home alone, there are no rules to self-defense. Your life is on the line, your future is on the line, you do whatever needs to be done to stop that threat,” he said.

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