A 26-year-old woman from Florida was brutally attacked by a 23-year-old man whom she was trying to help, and now the woman may never walk again.
According to reports, Katie Schlinger was visiting her brother at a hospital in Aiken, South Carolina in December when the attack happened.
Around 4 a.m. on the morning of the attack, Schlinger was outside by her vehicle at a local Quality Inn smoking a cigarette when the suspect, Michael Antwon Fuller, approached her. He asked her for a cigarette, and the two began talking about their loved ones who were in the hospital. Schlinger told him that her brother was undergoing open-heart surgery, and Fuller informed her that his uncle was a patient there.
At one point, Fuller asked Schlinger if she would give him a ride to the hospital. Schlinger agreed, joking, “Yeah I’ll give you a ride if you promise not to hurt me.”
“Who could hurt that precious face?” Fuller reportedly replied.
When Schlinger pulled up to the hospital, Fuller told her that he had to be dropped at a different entrance than the main one. So, Schlinger proceeded to drive to the second entrance. Fuller told her not to drop him there, and told her where to drive. They wound up down a different road with no lighting, and that’s when Fuller took out his pistol and hit her face with it.
Schlinger says she then began to cry and begged him to take her money, but he insisted that she keep driving and jammed his gun into her head. As Schlinger continued driving down the road, she was able to get the drivers door open and roll out of the moving car.
Fuller was able to stop the car and found his way back to where Schlinger had flung herself. When he found her, Fuller put the gun to Schlinger’s head and forced her to perform oral sex. Schlinger says she begged him not to rape her and offered to drive him to an ATM where she could get cash out.
“I lied and told him I had thousands of dollars in my bank account. I didn’t have thousands of dollars,” said Schlinger.
When they got in the car, Schlinger put it into reverse and floored it back towards the hospital. Fuller continued to hit her in the head with his gun and eventually got on top of her. At that point, Schlinger was able to crash the car into a tree.
Fuller was knocked unconscious from the crash, still on top of Schlinger, and after a reported half hour of trying to maneuver Fuller without waking him up, Schlinger was able to get herself free from under him. She crawled to a bush and hid until a passing car picked her up and brought her to the hospital.
Fuller was found partially conscious in his vehicle right by the hospital and has now faces charges of kidnapping, possession of a weapon, criminal sexual conduct, and unlawful carrying of a pistol.
Schlinger’s life will never be the same. Besides the obvious emotional toll this brutal attack will take on her, doctors say she may never be able to walk.
“It's been awful. It's been the most painful, traumatic experience of my life. The man ruined my life,” said Schlinger. “I can’t write, I can’t dress myself, I can’t do anything, I can’t brush my teeth by myself, I have to relearn.”
Schlinger is uninsured, and currently, her total medical bills are already upwards of $250,000. An online crowdsourcing campaign has been started to help raise money to pay her medical bills.