“You Can Never be Too Prepared”: What to Do if Approached While Walking Alone

There are a few ways to keep safe and protect yourself if you happen to run into danger

FARGO, ND — Police issued an advisory this morning to use extra caution when walking alone.

This past Thursday, a 15-year-old girl told police she noticed a man following her inside a local grocery store and he followed her to her car.

“When I heard about it earlier this morning and saw the little blurb in the paper, my radar went way up because that’s where I do my grocery shopping,” said Helen Ketterl of Fargo.

The suspicious activity, first reported at 1532 32nd Avenue South, doesn’t end there.

On Sunday, Fargo Police responded to another report of a woman who was walking near 25th Avenue and 25th Street South when she was also confronted by a man.

Both reports indicate it was a black male in his 20’s or 30’s.

“I’m sure if it’s happened once or twice and has been reported, it’s probably happened more often that people didn’t call in on unfortunately,” said Officer Jessica Schindeldecker with the Fargo Police Department.

Officer Schindeldecker said this type of behavior isn’t normal in the metro and that everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings no matter where they live.

“Depending on the mindset of that person, if they know that area is extra patrolled or they’re going to get looked on more seriously, maybe they’re going to go somewhere else,” said Officer Schindeldecker.

“I’m concerned about the children and people at play,” said Ketterl. “We have a lot of walkers here in our neighborhood.”

There are a few ways to keep safe and protect yourself if you happen to run into danger.

“It’s really important that you learn to do ground escapes,” said Mariah Prussia, owner of MPX Fitness in Fargo. “Whether it’s offense or whether it’s defense, the key is to get out of that situation as fast as you can, not to stay in play.”

She also stressed it’s best to learn self-defense now because you can never be too prepared.

“The more confident you are, the more empowered you are, the more aware and knowledgeable you are, the better off you’re going to be in life in general,” said Prussia.

Police say in the case of any emergency, it’s important to know what to do, where to go and who to call.

The suspect is described as having facial hair and missing lower teeth.

Also, he was seen driving a silver Toyota without license plates.

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