California mom fights off masked attacker who grabbed her and her 3-year-old daughter outside their apartment

West

ELK GROVE, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — A Northern California woman says she fought off a man who grabbed her and her 3-year-old daughter in the parking lot of their apartment complex on Wednesday night.

Kim Santos was still visibly shaken Thursday after the man, wearing a face mask, attacked them outside her Elk Grove apartment.

“Once he started running towards us I was like, ‘What’s happening?’ in my head,” Santos said.

She said she’ll never forget the look in the attacker’s eyes, saying what happened felt like it was in slow motion.

“I pushed her aside but then he came full force and I have bruises and cuts on my thing because he came to us full force,” Santos said, while gesturing toward her thigh.

When the man went for her daughter, she said she didn’t hold back. 

“When he had grabbed both her and me that’s when, like, I kicked and kicked and I started punching, you know,” she recalled. “Because in my mind, I was like, ‘No, this is not happening.’ I couldn’t scream yet.”

She said she could hear her daughter crying nearby as she fought off the attacker, who eventually gave up and ran away.

That decision to fight may have saved their lives.

“She did everything she could in that moment and we would encourage everyone to do the same,” Elk Grove Police Department spokeswoman Hannah Gray said.

Santos credits her intuition and instinct and is now reminding everyone to be aware of their surroundings. 

“If you get that tingly feeling, that you know that your intuition is saying something’s wrong. That energy that you feel inside like something’s wrong, something’s following you, look around, pay attention because that’s gonna save you. That’s really that your intuition is going to save you,” she said.

Police say the attacker was described as approximately 30 years old, with a medium build, black hair and bushy eyebrows. He was wearing black-framed glasses.

NewsNation affilate KTXL and Nexstar Media Wire contributed to this report.

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