In November of 2016, Richard Dimitri was teaching a group of grade 9 girls at Norman Bethune School in Scarborough, Ontario. On day 3 of the week, he went over the proper defense for grabs from behind.
Later that evening, one of his students was walking home from her best friend’s place. They live in opposing condos, with a mini strip mall in between the two. From door to door, it’s an easy 5-minute walk. On nights that her parents work late, she usually goes to her best friend’s place until her parents return home. On this particular night, she made her way home around 7 pm. As she passes the alleyway between her best friend’s condo and the strip mall, an adult male came from behind, grabbing her in a bear hug and began dragging her into the mouth of the alleyway. She immediately slammed him in the groin while screaming for help. He let go, pushed her away, and ran off. She was ready to continue defending herself when she realized he had fled. Why did he take off? Simple: she wasn’t the easy prey he thought she would be. At 7 pm, the risk of drawing attention to the situation and getting caught is too high for him, and he certainly doesn’t want that. She got a description of him, however: sandy blonde hair, wearing all denim. She did not recognize him as anyone she knew.
The next day at school, Richard came in to find her teacher and principal there waiting for his arrival. They wanted to inform him of what happened and to thank him personally for teaching self-defense Incidentally; there had been three other girls in the area that looked similar to this student who had also been grabbed and assaulted. Since this incident, the girl’s parents have been trying to make Richard’s program mandatory in all schools but have not yet succeeded. Had she not learned this information, she could have easily been the fourth victim.
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