Mom fights off masked attacker who grabbed her, toddler outside California home

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ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — A California mother was still visibly shaken Thursday after she and her 3-year-old daughter were attacked Wednesday night in the parking lot of their Elk Grove apartment complex.

“Once he started running towards us I was like, ‘What’s happening?’ in my head,” said Kim Santos.

Santos said the man was wearing a face mask when he attacked them in the area of Center Parkway and Bruceville Road.

She said she’ll never forget the look in his eyes and said what happened felt like it was in slow motion.

“I pushed her aside but then he came full force and I have bruises and cuts on my thing because he came to us full force,” she said.

When the man went for her daughter, she said she didn’t hold back. 

“When he had grabbed both her and me that’s when, like, I kicked and kicked and I started punching, you know,” she recalled. “Because in my mind, I was like, ‘No, this is not happening.’ I couldn’t scream yet.”

She said she could hear her daughter crying nearby as she fought off the attacker, who eventually gave up and ran away.

That decision to fight may have saved their lives.

“She did everything she could in that moment and we would encourage everyone to do the same,” said Elk Grove Police Department spokeswoman Hannah Gray.

Santos credits her intuition and instinct and is now reminding everyone to be aware of their surroundings. 

“If you get that tingly feeling, that you know that your intuition is saying something’s wrong. That energy that you feel inside like something’s wrong, something’s following you, look around, pay attention because that’s gonna save you. That’s really that your intuition is gonna save you,” she said.

Elk Grove police say the attacker was described as approximately 30 years old, with a medium build, black “poofy” hair and bushy eyebrows. He was wearing black-framed glasses. They’re also looking for a green or teal four-door sedan, possibly a Buick, that may be involved in the attack.

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