Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Parking lot protection - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Parking lot protection

By Ursula Madden - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - In your day to day life, one place you can be extremely vulnerable to attack is in a parking lot, where your hands are often full, and you can be distracted.

Patrick Terry owns and teaches self defense at Krav Maga Worldwide in Memphis.  The women in Terry's class look like they could hurt someone if they had to, but Terry says if you are attacked, your priority is to get away.

"Because ultimately, you're not there to fight them," Terry said. "You just want to get away, draw attention to yourself, and get them to leave you alone."

And if you haven't honed your fighting skills, the next best thing for you to do is to use what you have.  That could be your shopping bags.

"Just take it and throw it at them like a weapon," Terry said.

According to Terry, there is a right way and a wrong way to walk through a parking lot.  It's important to pay attention to your surroundings.

"Easy targets are people who aren't paying attention," Terry said. "They aren't looking at what's going on around them, so prevention is one of the best keys."

Also, have your keys ready as you approach your car.

"Predators are looking for easy prey," Terry said.

Terry said a woman should never drape the shoulder strap of a purse across her body. It makes it harder for someone to take your purse, but it makes it just as hard for you to get away from the thief!  Also, never carry anything in you purse you aren't willing to have stolen.

What should you do if you are attacked while your children are with you?

"If I'm holding a sack, I'm going to throw the sack at you. I'll beat you with the sack. But if I'm holding my child I can't throw my child," Terry said. "I'll hold on to my child, but I'll still kick you if I have to. Do whatever it takes to keep someone off of me.  If you have all your kids around you, you just have to hold them close, be backing up, yelling for help."

And remember to use items that are easily accessible to you.

"Use your keys," Terry said. "Chances are you have something in your other hand. Use it as a weapon."

Finally, Terry said, don't be afraid to yell.  The more people who see what's going on, the better.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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