A 68-year-old shopper who was attacked by two men outside Fort Worth’s Hulen Mall on Tuesday got help from an armed passerby, police said.
The woman was returning to her car shortly after 12 p.m. in the parking lot near Macy’s when two young men pulled her from her vehicle and tried to steal her purse, Fort Worth police Ofc. Buddy Calzada said.
She posted her experience on Facebook, writing "I am OK but will take awhile for me to not be afraid. I want to share what I did wrong as well as what I did right. So listen up ladies, this can happen to you. "
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The post, which has gotten more than 4,300 shares as Thursday, states she was on the phone while leaving Macy's to get to her car.
"So the thing wrong is I was not paying any attention to my surroundings. As my car unlocked (you know the Miracle of keyless entry) one man rushed me," she wrote. "A gun, mace or anything else would have been no use to me because I was caught off guard. I did though began to scream. This was the right thing to do."
The second suspect came in through the passenger door and pulled her through the car, she said.
"It was a total out of body experience. Those there, and the person I was on the phone with, said I never stopped screaming and fighting. I have little memory of that," she wrote.
Ofc. Calzada told NBC 5, the woman fought the suspects and one of them punched her in the face. The bandits tried to steal her car, but couldn’t because she had the electronic key in her pocket.
"When they realized they couldn’t drive it off, they tried to take her purse.," Calzada said. "There was a witness close by, that was explained to us, that actually drew a weapon. Those two suspects dropped the purse and belongings and took off running."
The woman, who is from Denton, was treated by medics and released at the scene.
Calzada said one of the most important things people should keep in mind is to have quick access to 911 if an emergency does occur.
"If you have to have to have your phone in hand, keep it on the power button. I know on this particular phone if I punch the power button several times, it will call 911 immediately," he said, demonstrating it on an iPhone.
Calzada also recommended walking with a group of people, if possible.
"If you’re done shopping, don’t just walk outside. Wait until there’s a group of people even if they’re not with you, that you can walk near them, so you will not just have some witnesses but that you would deter somebody that would want to do anything bad to you," he said. "I’ve gone on camera before saying that even my own family loves the Hulen Mall. We love going to that location. The unfortunate thing is you have some bad individuals that will come to that place and there’s a lot of people there. If they’re looking to get stuff that’s not their’s, steal stuff…they’re going to go to place that’s high attendance. Just like a mall would."
Police have not made any arrests.
Police released mall surveillance video in hopes of identifying the suspects. Both suspects were described as black and in their mid-20’s. One was 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighs 130 pounds and was wearing a black hoodie with black pants and shoes. The other suspect was 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and was wearing gray sweat pants.
Detectives are investigating the case as a robbery and carjacking.
A spokesperson for the mall tells NBC 5, they are "disheartened that this isolated incident happened on our property, and we know it was a frightening experience for the victim. However, we are grateful for the swift action of our partners at the Ft. Worth Police Department."