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Advice on how to protect yourself following sexual assault at Hardberger Park

Self-defense training is taking place in parts of San Antonio. It’s a bigger push now following Tuesday morning’s alleged sexual assault at Hardberger Park on the Northside.

SAN ANTONIO – Self-defense training is taking place in parts of San Antonio. It’s a bigger push now following Tuesday morning’s alleged sexual assault at Hardberger Park on the Northside.

Police did have a person of interest on Tuesday, but no charges have been made so far.

As a result of the incident, Park Police will be increasing patrols in the area along with considering more emergency call buttons.

Tammie Mcilroy, a San Antonio resident, recently started training at Ohana Academy.

“I go running all the time by myself so it's very easy to put myself in that situation,” says Mcilroy.

The Martial Arts enthusiast says she’s shocked after learning a 27-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while jogging at Hardberger Park.

During the attack, the woman managed to bite the man and run to an apartment complex across the street to call for help.

“I hope to never be in that situation,” adds Mcilroy.

Mcilroy says she is now learning what to do if she is ever grabbed or held down.

“Anytime you're running you always get that eerie feeling like somebody is behind you.," adds Mcilroy.

Head instructor of Ohana Academy, Jason Yerrington, says everyone should consider doing the training.

“Don't sit back and wait because you never know when it's going to happen,” says Yerrington.

SAPD shared the following advice following Tuesday’s assault:

1. Own the trail. Project alertness, confidence, and determination. Your shoulders are back, you are aware of your surroundings, and you have somewhere to go.

2. Go with a buddy. Enjoy your trails and parklands with a friend. Two or more trail users can assist each other in the event of accident or injury, and one can always seek help.

3. The day is your friend. It's better to avoid dusk and darkness.

4. Use all your senses. Listen for suspicious noises. Don't wear headphones; they impair your ability to hear someone approaching you from behind. If you sense that an area may be unsafe for you, leave.

5. Take what you need. Carry personal identification and wear your medical bracelets. 6. Leave valuables at home. Don't make yourself an obvious target. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle while you are enjoying your picnic lunch or using the trails, hide them well before you arrive at the parking area; auto burglaries are all too common.

7. Call for help. If you need assistance or encounter someone else needing assistance in the District, call 911.

8. Have someone waiting. Always let someone else know where you will be going and when you will return, and instruct him or her to call 911 if you do not return as planned.

9. Attire. Don’t wear any expensive jewelry.

10. Tools. If you feel comfortable caring pepper spray that can also be a tool of defense. Make sure you do research prior to purchasing

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