By: Collin Ruane, WOWT Channel 6
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – For every kick and punch, Shawn Whittington Jr. said protecting yourself is about much more than getting physical.
“Not everyone is going to end up in a gun fight in their life,” Whittington said. “Not everyone is going to end up in a fist fight in their life. But every one of us at some point in our life is going to have to deal with some aggressive person.”
Which is why he teaches a class at 88 Tactical. While many self defense classes take a look at the physical aspect, Whittington told WOWT 6 News it often starts out with what you communicate to a potential attacker.
“Most criminal predators are always going to look for easy victims,” Whittington said.
Which ended up not being the case for a female employee at a hotel near 180th & Dodge early Wednesday morning. Douglas County deputies are looking for a man who they said groped the employee and tried to force her into a restroom before she fought back.
“This person was brazen enough to enter, what they had to believe was a public space, not knowing if there was other people around. He still chose to commit the crime,” Chief Deputy Sheriff Tom Wheeler said.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said he was also brazen enough to run back inside to get his mask while the woman was calling 911.
Glad to hear things did not end up any worse, Whittington told WOWT 6 News his hope is to train others to keep things from escalating to a physical situation. He said that can be done through sterns and direct questioning and strong body language.
“What you’re communicating in no uncertain terms is, you know what, I’m not a good victim,” Whittington said. “This is going to be a lot of trouble for you to stick around.”
All things considered, Whittington said if your gut tells you something is wrong, trust it.