Woman says self-defense move saved her from bathroom attacker - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Woman grabbed bathroom attacker in sensitive area and "twisted real hard"

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Charles Robert Rickard, 47. (Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office) Charles Robert Rickard, 47. (Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office)

A man arrested for allegedly attacking a woman inside a local convenience store bathroom was either hiding and waiting for a victim, or simply doing something very odd with meat tenderizer.

Late Tuesday night around midnight, deputies were sent to the Moto Mart on Big Cynthiana Road regarding a suspicious circumstance.

When they arrived a witness told them a woman had gone into the bathroom of the store and started screaming.

The witness said a man, armed with a knife, had grabbed the woman in the bathroom, knocking her to the ground, and tried to keep her inside. 

Authorities say when deputies got to the scene, the woman was still locked in the restroom, but the suspect had fled.

Deputies say the woman received minor cuts on her knees where the suspect pushed her down.

She told deputies when she walked into the restroom, the man was hiding behind the door. She said the man then knocked her to the ground and continued to struggle with her. 

The woman said during the struggle she grabbed the man's genitals and "twisted real hard" causing him to fall backward, allowing her to escape and lock herself inside the bathroom until help arrived. 

"She chose to fight back and it worked for her, but that's not a decision we would take very lightly and we would not tell everybody that's always the solution," Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams said. "You have to know your surroundings, your capabilities, your opponent's capabilities, the likelihood of success, what the outcome is- all those things weigh in and it's a decision you have to make very, very quickly."

Authorities say after looking at the surveillance video of the assault, the suspect was identified as 47-year-old Charles Robert Rickard, a former employee at the gas station. 

Authorities say Rickard was found at his home in Owensville, Indiana.

Rickard told authorities he was "placing meat tenderizer on his penis" inside the bathroom when the woman walked in. He says he tried to leave but she began to scream, which "caused him to pull a knife in self defense."

Rickard was arrested and taken to the Vanderburgh County Corrections Center.

He is charged with Intimidation with a weapon, Criminal Confinement and Battery.

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