Basic self-defense moves can help you ward off a mugger's attack - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Basic moves to ward off a mugger

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Albert Anoina is moving a little slower these days, partly because he was recently attacked by a robber in an elevator at a shopping center in Hawaii.

"He tried to grab me," Anoina says. "I tried to push him down, push him away, but he turned around and grabbed me by the neck."

A former amateur boxer, Anoina has the heart of a fighter and tried to fight off his attacker.

"I kicked him in the face, I kicked him in the stomach, I kicked him in the groin for me to get away," Anoina recalls.

The 79-year-old then blacked out. When he regained consciousness, both his wallet and the mugger were gone.

Anyone can become the victim of a brutal mugging or carjacking.

However, criminals often target older people thinking they're easy prey and they might have something worth stealing.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of people in the US who are 65 and older is expected to soar to 89 million by the year 2050.

Law enforcement agencies across the country are fearful the number of crimes committed against this demographic will likely rise.

Sergeant Irwin Carmichael is a veteran law enforcement officer with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina. He uses his experience in law enforcement and martial arts to teach crime prevention and self-defense classes.

He says there are things everyone should know, especially the elderly, to protect themselves from being the victim of a mugging or carjacking.

"I use the example of a tiger or lion," Carmichael says. "When it [the criminal] picks its prey, it does not pick the biggest, the strongest or the fastest – it will always pick the weakest, slowest, and easiest. So, that's why a lot of times they will target seniors."

Common items like a cane, an ink pen and a car key can be used as weapons if you know how to use them.  

"Have the one key that opens you car door between your thumb and index finger," Carmichael suggests. "This can do as much damage as a baseball bat."

By having your key in your hand, if someone attacks you, you can aim the key at the robber's face. 

Next, Carmichael pulls out an ink pen and clutches it in his fist with the point facing away from his chest.

"Another simple weapon is a pen, just imagine holding it in your hand just like this and using it to strike with," Carmichael says while jabbing it into an imaginary attacker.

America Now asked a volunteer named Art to assist in our demonstration.

In less than three minutes, Carmichael was able to teach a Art a few moves he can make using a cane to defend himself.

First, aim for the groin. Then, drive the cane directly into the attacker's chest. Follow this by a swipe to both knees.

Always check your surroundings before you park. Make sure you are in a well-lit area, and try to enter and exit stores in a group. Remember, there's safety in numbers.

When you are walking in a parking lot, stay at least six feet from the edge of any vehicle. If someone is lurking around the corner to grab you, you'll have more distance to react and to get away.

If you are mugged, try to remember what the perpetrator is wearing including any unusual tattoo, facial hair, or even their license plate. Precise details like this could help police apprehend the suspect before they have the opportunity to assault another victim.

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