How to Stop Sexual Assault
Off-duty police officer arrests two people for sexual assault and harassment
ANCHORAGE – Lieutenant Dave Parker was off duty and driving down Muldoon Road on Saturday, when something at a bus stop caught his eye.
“There was a female passed out cold on the bench, and there was man sitting next to her and he was opening her pants, her jeans, and then he stuck his hands down in her crotch area,” said Parker.
He arrested 53-year-old Stephen Gordon, who was charged with Sexual Assault 2 and Sexual Assault 3.
On Sunday, Parker was still off duty and trying to complete his grocery shopping when he made another arrest.
"I came upon a lady who was looking at the makeup, and a man darted out of the aisle from behind her, and he grabbed her by the buttocks with his empty hand and then walked out into the other aisle and disappeared.”
The 20-year-old girl burst into tears and Parker ran after the 43-year-old man who was arrested and cited for harassment.
So what can the general public do if they see something like this happen or about to happen?
"Stand up and sing the national anthem,” said Executive Director Nancy Haag, of Standing Together Against Rape (STAR). “Do anything to distract them from what's going on and allow the person who is potentially going to be hurt to get away.”
Haag suggests people try anything to make the biggest distraction possible.
"I think 80 percent of the time somebody could've intervened to stop violence from occurring and we're not suggesting anyone put themselves at risk - dial 911, honk your horn,” said Haag.
Parker said the public has the right and responsibility to take action if they see someone being abused.
“Citizens do have the right to detain someone and in a situation like that we also have a responsibility to society to protect other people in as much as a person can do so effectively, without being hurt themselves.”