Sexual assault victim: 'I wasn't going to let him rape me'

Sexual assault victim: 'I wasn't going to let him rape me'

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Police are still searching for the man who attacked a 56-year-old woman in Hattiesburg on the Longleaf Trace last week. 

The victim, Darlean Meichoula, voluntarily identified herself to share the story of her attack.

Meichoula was walking along the trace to meet her grandchild when she stopped to go to the bathroom. She regularly walks the path on her own, but the night of June 10 was different.

"I went to the restroom and it just...all of a sudden happened," Meichoula said.

Meichoula recalled a strange man attacking her from behind.

"This man came out of nowhere and broke into the ladies restroom," Meichoula said. "He had a sock in his hand with rocks in it and he hit me in my head."

That is when Meichoula said she began to fight back.

"I took the sock from him and he held me down and choked me," Meichoula said. "But in the process of him doing all of that, I took it and by the grace of God I flipped him over and I went at him."

During the scuffle, Meichoula was able to get a hold of her green military bag, which contained a pair of scissors.

"I hit him in the left shoulder. He hollered and when he hollered, I said some things. But then I went at him," Meichoula said. "He ran out the door, and I ran out the door behind him with his sock in one hand and my scissors in the other."

Meichoula was hit so hard that her jaw was knocked out of place. According to her, the attacker got it worse.

"He took my scissor mark with him," Meichoula said. "It was either I die, or he die. I wasn't going to let you (the alleged attacker) rape me."

Meichoula hopes this tragic experience will strengthen the safety and security measures along the trace.

"Please do not come to this track out here by yourself," Meichoula said. "Tell the parents don't send your daughter out here by themselves."

Meichoula only had one message for her attacker, who is still being sought by police.

"I'm a fighter, I fought for what I believed in. You cannot take what God gave me for myself. I'm a woman," she said.

Meichoula's alleged attacker was last seen wearing a black muscle shirt and sneakers.

If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, contact Hattiesburg Metro Crime Stoppers or Hattiesburg police at 601-582-STOP