Regina Hiebert used her cell phone to call police while she was being sexually assaulted in a park in East Kildonan near her home. She fought her attacked and managed to hold him down until police arrived, Friday, July 20, 2012.
Credits: Chris Procaylo/REUTERS
WINNIPEG -- A Winnipeg woman managed to fend off an attempted rape and call 911 at the same time.
Then she restrained her attacker until police arrived, the mom from East Kildonan, in northeast Winnipeg, said.
Regina Hiebert said the shocking, daylight assault began around 3:15 p.m. Thursday at a park. While she walked home from work, a teenager on a bicycle asked her for the time and fiddled with his bike for a bit.
Then he suddenly rushed at her and grabbed her chest.
"He threw his bike down and was grabbing me and begging me to do things to him," Hiebert said. "He wanted to rape me."
The mom of three grown-up children said the teen was pulling at her pants and touching himself.
"I was mad at this point, thinking 'This is not going to happen to me. This guy is not going to rape me in broad daylight', " Hiebert said.
She managed to pull out her cellphone and dial 911 with one hand extended behind her back as her attacker groped her. One digit into the call, the teen noticed the phone and attempted to take it away, she said.
"With one hand, I kept trying to fight him off," Hiebert said.
She said the youth appeared to be intoxicated and was a little taller than she was.
Hiebert managed to yell what was happening into the phone. Then, as she waited for emergency crews to arrive, Hiebert said she wrestled the teen to the ground, pinned his arms over his head and sat on him.
The quick-thinking mom credits her self-defence training and faith in God for helping her fend off the attacker. Her emotions may have also helped.
"When I get angry, I have a lot of strength," she said. "The secret to getting through something like this is 'Don't panic, but think through what you're going to do now'. "
Hiebert said the teen did not apologize after she pinned his arms to the ground, but said he felt nauseous and asked her to let him go. She refused and told him he could throw up where he was.
The next day, Hiebert had a sore arm but no other injuries.
Winnipeg police confirmed a youth was arrested for a sexual assault that took place in East Kildonan at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday. But a spokesperson did not comment on other details of the attack, stating it is still under investigation.
Standing in the typically quiet East Kildonan park Friday, Hiebert said she wanted to share her story to warn other women and girls of the danger she experienced.
"I'm very afraid for the women and girls who walk because they might not be as strong as I was," Hiebert said, as a boy played on a nearby swing and a teenage girl walked by.
"I'm so worried about this neighbourhood now and the girls here."