Sexual assault of Port Salerno girl remains in forefront of Martin County community

Investigators stress self-defense techniques

PORT SALERNO, Fla. - No arrests have been made in the day that have gone by since investigators in Martin County said a 10-year-old girl was lured by a man and sexually assaulted.

The longer the clock ticks away without someone in custody, the higher anxiety levels rise among the Port Salerno community where the incident allegedly happened.

At a town hall meeting on Tuesday that was meant to focus on a recent rash of pillow case burglaries, attentions quickly shifted to the case involving the sexual assault of the little girl.

After Sheriff William Snyder updated the crowd on the case, several resident spoke out with questions and concerns.

"There's been a tragedy in our community. I've got two daughters so it affects me," said Mike Glynn, a Stuart resident.

Glynn said he is making sure his children are aware of the dangers in the community.

"We run through different scenarios sometimes," said Glynn.

Practicing is exactly what Sheriff Snyder stressed. He wants parents to alert children on how to cope with the unexpected.

"My daughter, who is 22 now. When she was a little girl, we used to have practices in the mall. I'd come out of nowhere and grab her in the throat in a choke hold," said Sheriff Snyder.

At Ahn's Martial Arts Academy in Stuart, the recent assault brings a sharp, new focus to the self-defense lessons being taught.

Instructors said if somebody grabs a person by the arm, they should not pull away. The key is to twist the wrist and pull away. They also said if someone grabs someone from behind, people need to get the predator off balance by bowing and throwing them over a shoulder. If someone is caught on the ground and being choked, instructors said the victim needs to release the grip of their attacker by pushing in their elbows and tossing them.

"Instructors say if somebody grabs you the arm, the key is to twist and pull away. If somebody grabs you from behind, the key is to get them off balance by bowing and throwing them over your shoulder. And if somebody has got you on the ground and choking you, the key is to release their grip by pushing in on their elbows and tossing them." 

Back at the meeting on Tuesday, Glynn said he will be now focusing on the child safety lessons now he feel are on the minds of everyone.

"Hopefully it makes them think and maybe if it did happen, it wouldn't be a foreign circumstance they don't know how to deal with," said Glynn.

Detectives have yet to release a sketch of the suspect because they are waiting to meet with an adult witness,  who claimed to have seen someone running along the railroad tracks away from the park at the time of the attack. 

The suspect is described as a white male in his 20's with blonde hair in a buzz cut, with some type of cast or brace on one of his hands.


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