Safety and self-defense in the front of students' mind after att

Safety and self-defense in the front of students' mind after attempted abduction at Pellissippi State

Posted:
Friday was freshman orientation and the staff of the school addressed the incident at the welcome to students. Friday was freshman orientation and the staff of the school addressed the incident at the welcome to students.
The biggest self-defense tip is prevention and to be aware of your surroundings. The biggest self-defense tip is prevention and to be aware of your surroundings.
By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The day after an attempted abduction on Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley location has students feeling uneasy.

The suspect who allegedly attempted to kidnap a student at Pellissippi State Community College Thursday afternoon was arrested Friday morning.

Previous story: Suspect who allegedly attempted to kidnap a Pellissippi State student arrested

According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Gregory Crenshaw, 19, is charged with aggravated kidnapping. Deputies say he was arrested without incident around midnight at the home he shares with his mother on Graves Street. He was released on $40,000 bond just after 7 a.m

"Honestly it’s a little scary, to find out about it the day before orientation is a little unnerving,” admits Hillary Blahut.

Friday was freshman orientation and the staff of the school addressed the incident at the welcome to students.

They were informed about the Pellissippi Alerts, the school’s primary way of getting information to students. Text alerts were sent out to students during Thursday’s incident and Friday morning when the suspect was arrested.

“We want our students to feel comfortable in knowing what's going on,” said Rebecca Ashford, the VP of Student Affairs.

6 News learned only about a fifth of students sign up for the alerts. Blahut said she plans to sign up her very first day.

“That way if anything like that does happen, we know ahead of time and what to look out for and what to be prepared for,” said Blahut.

There are security cameras all around campus, in fact that's how officers identified the suspect in Thursday's attack. There are also armed campus security officers regularly patrolling the area. But what Pellissippi doesn’t have are the blue light emergency phones seen on many college campuses.

“We just recently had a security audit and we asked the person leading the audit about those blue lights because it was something we were really interested in and they actually advised us against it and said there's no need,” said Ashford.

6 News requested that audit, but we’re told it’s not yet complete.

Students we spoke with say they always carry their cellphones but what many wanted to know was what do if someone is coming at them.

We took their questions to self-defense instructor Michelle Kirk who teaches at Pellissippi State.

"When you know what to do you’re more effective in anything you’re doing. Every four year old knows if they catch on fire they’re going to stop drop and roll, we don’t worry about what to do if we catch on fire. Self defense is the same thing,” said Kirk.

The biggest thing is prevention and to be aware of your surroundings.

"We need to be paying attention, so if we see something, were aware plus it shows I’m paying attention,” she explained.

Once someone does approach Kirk showed us what to do.

"I said backoff," Kirk said to her would-be attacker

Being firm, making noise and showing your attacker you know what you're doing is paramount.

"Even if we feel like jello on the inside, we have to show,” I'm going to defend my boundary,” she said.

If you find yourself in a situation like what happened at the pond, you want to do everything to stay near people.

“If I’m in a parking lot or like she was in the pond area, i want to stay right there. She did such a good job trying to stay in that area. Nine times out of ten if you go to that second site, you’re not coming back,” she warned.

Kirk says to do that, it may involve getting to ground.

"Remember I want to stay here where there are people who can come to my aid,” she explained

Your legs are generally going to be your strongest weapon.

"We want to kick anywhere center line, groin, chest, chin, neck head,” she demonstrated.

And remember you don’t need to win a cage fight just do enough damage to get to safety.

We asked does it make it difference if they have a weapon. She says it’s better to fight back when you still have the opportunity to get to safety than to go with them where you chances of getting away are significantly lower.

If you’re interested in taking self-defense you can find information on Kirk’s classes on her website.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.