Two women were reportedly forced into an alley and a man tried to sexually assault them while on they were their way home from a store in Detroit’s west side. A man living nearby apparently jumped in to rescue the women, one of whom appeared to be pregnant.
Michael Thomas says spotted the two young women in their 20s as they walked to the neighborhood party store just after 1 a.m.
Soon after, he says he heard screams. “When I heard the scream, I’m thinking an animal jumped out of the bushes on them or something," Michael Thomas told My Fox Detroit. "Then again I hear this guy’s voice saying ‘Shut the f---- up, shut the f up, get in the all, get in the alley.'”
Thomas says he yelled to his neighbors and dialed 911 twice. He decided he could not wait for the police to arrive, so he grabbed the stick that he keeps by his front door. He headed to the alley behind his home where the screams had come from, reports My Fox Detroit.
“I got my neighbors, we got together,” Thomas said. “I went back there and I ran with my stick. I swung the stick at him, he got away. He jumped over the fence and let. But I got the young ladies out — back into the street."
Although the would-be attacker got away, Thomas said he was glad to have prevented anything more from happening.
Thomas said it appeared as though one of the women was pregnant and that they were both “petrified” after the attack.
He now has a message for the attackers and the entire community: “If you stay in the neighborhood you’re going to get caught. I just want you to know that you’re going to get caught — if the police doesn’t catch you, the neighborhood’s going to catch you.”
Other women in the neighborhood said they now fear for their safety.
“I felt safe until this happened Saturday (July 11) morning,” neighbor Tamika Williams said. “I do not feel safe anymore.”
“Young people, women, everybody, you have to be careful,” Sharon Thompson, who lives nearby, said. “Use that gut instinct,” she urged.
Thomas says he’s tired of the violence and tired of people refusing to help the police.
Detroit has a higher murder and violent crime rate than any other major city in the U.S. In 2013, the rate of murders and non-negligent manslaughter in Detroit was 45 per 100,000 people.
According to data from 2010, homicide is the leading killer of children between age 1 and 18. In a survey of 1,300 high school students, 87 percent said a family member or friend had been shot, murdered or disabled from violence in the past year, The Huffington Post reported.
“It’s unacceptable, this crime wave,” Thomas said. “It has no business going on. The crime wave that we have — there’s no reason for it.
“Don’t turn your head and say you didn’t see it — you saw it — you saw it. Don’t turn your head.”