Crime Victims Defending Themselves; Pepper Spray a Viable Option

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

 Viewer Comments:

Garriett says, "Always be aware of your surroundings... read others body language. It tells a lot about a person."

Sarah adds "I’m thinking about getting pepper spray but other than that no extra precautions. I live and work over by Marie’s Pizza. I think this is a pretty safe neighborhood right now."

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Incidents like the three Stateline murders over the past couple of weeks have people on their toes. It also has people fighting back.

Over the last two days there have been numerous reports of people being held up by guns and knives, but this time the victims had pepper spray and they weren't afraid to use it.

On Thursday morning a woman was attacked on the corner of Second and Fifth streets, but she fought back, spraying her attacker. The same thing happened last night when a man dressed in black attempted to rob a man on his way home in southeast Rockford. The attackers haven't been arrested, but neither of them were able to get what they wanted. For people who don't want to carry a gun police say pepper spray can be a good alternative.

Joel Givens from the Rockford Police said, "Well first of all if you're going to get pepper spray I recommend that you get familiar with the type of equipment that you're going to be utilizing. It does you no good to take something out if you haven't trained yourself to properly use it."

Police say you should practice using pepper spray so it becomes second nature. You should have a case for the spray. Put the spray back in the case in the same position every time so you don't spray yourself.

They said the more important thing is keeping out of these situations in the first place. Don’t walk alone, be aware of your surroundings at all times, and never let your guard down.

Are you taking extra precautions to protect your safety outside of your home?

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by David Location: Chicago on Oct 9, 2011 at 06:58 AM
    SABRE provides a training program to teach how to prevent takes and how to use pepper spray safely and effectively. Take a look at
  • by patty Location: rockford on Oct 8, 2011 at 10:29 PM
    we need to pack some heat also
  • by Walker Location: Rockford on Oct 7, 2011 at 10:55 PM
    When did walking alone become something you shouldn't do. When did it become a crime and that our Protectors have to warn us not to do it.
  • by Illinois Resident Location: Rockford on Oct 7, 2011 at 05:39 PM
    I have a small canister of pepper spray on a chain that goes around my neck whenever I am working in my yard or mowing the grass. It's too bad we have to "arm" ourselves while doing tasks that should be enjoyable and safe. I always have a cell phone in my pocket just in case. Crime is everywhere, even in your own front yard.
  • by Thomas Location: Rockford IL on Oct 7, 2011 at 03:27 PM
    Outstanding job, Officer Givens! Thank you for your service to our community. Hopefully the mayor and the chief recognize our need for more police officers, so we can get a handle on all the violent crime in Rockford. God Bless you
    • reply
      by patty on Oct 8, 2011 at 10:34 PM in reply to Thomas
      more no-nonsense cops. more jails and stop wasting taxpayer $$ housing them fools at the jail so long
  • by Jeannie Location: Rockford on Oct 7, 2011 at 03:27 PM
    I think there is a misprint in this article. It says that for the people who don't want to carry a gun that police say pepper spray is a alternative. Hello. We can't carry guns around. So how can the police say people don't want to carry guns? I can bet more then 75% of people would carry a gun if we could. This is why we need conceal to carry! Sorry but pepper spray is no match for a gun in your face.
    • reply
      by patty on Oct 8, 2011 at 10:32 PM in reply to Jeannie
      i'm with you. my daughter has to carry pepper spray and there is a new combat school just opened on 11th st I'm sending her there as well gonna teach her how to shoot this pistol. Illinois is off the chain with their heads stuck in the sand thinking it's still the 70's or something. What happened to this place?
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