Indianapolis woman attacked while getting mail, talks about escape

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 29, 2014) – An Indianapolis woman believes her fighting instincts saved her from serious harm, or worse, Tuesday night.

Sheri Cooper, 44, went to check her mailbox in front of her house in the 2200 block of North Ritter Avenue around 10 p.m. Tuesday, when a man in his 20’s surprised her from behind.

“I felt something wrap around my neck,” Cooper said told FOX59. “I immediately reached up to try to grab it, and it felt like a belt.”

Before she could scream, Cooper said the man pulled the belt tight against her neck.

“And I felt myself blacking,” Cooper said. “I got dizzy and my hands started going numb.”

But before she blacked out, Cooper said she heard the voice of her uncle, who used to work in the prison system. Years ago, he had instructed her how to counter an attack from behind. So, she managed to gain her balance and stomp on the top of the man’s foot.

A moment later, the two were on the ground wrestling in her front yard.

“And then the fight was on,” Cooper said. “It was just reaction. My adrenaline started pumping. I started hitting him and kicking him.”

At one point, Cooper said she bit down on the man’s hand and wouldn’t let go.

“I know I must have torn his skin or something because I tasted blood,” she said.

When he finally got his hand free from her mouth, he reached back and delivered a sold punch to her left eye. The hitting, kicking and smacking continued. Cooper’s dog came out onto the front porch and started barking loudly. That was apparently enough for the man. He ran off, leaving Cooper in her front yard.

“And he never said a word to me the whole time,” she said. “Never said anything.”

Cooper is still not sure what the man wanted, although she could tell he was trying to drag her back into her own house.

“If he would have gotten me inside, I don’t know what might have happened,” she said.

Cooper was only able to give a general description of the man. A black man in his 20’s, standing about 5-feet-10-inches tall, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, jeans and dark tennis shoes. She also said he had a wild look in his eyes, like he was under the influence of something.

Cooper refuses to think of herself as a victim. In fact, she was back at work Wednesday morning.

“He’s not going to scare me, and I’m not going to be in fear to go outside,” Cooper said.

She said everyone should fight back if they have a chance.

“You know he was probably just walking down the street and thought he seen an easy target, and I turned out not to be an easy target.”

She also said she is a gun owner, and plans to have her weapon on her from now on.

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