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Altus resident worried after incidents at Altus Reservoir

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) - An Altus resident said she's worried about walking at the Altus Reservoir after three attempted attacks were reported in less than a week.

Three separate incidents happened at the Altus Reservoir, starting last Tuesday. In the first one, a female victim told police a man in a pickup circled the reservoir several times before stopping and trying to grab her. When she screamed, he got back in his truck and drove off.

Just a few days later, a teenage girl reported a man trying to persuade her to get into his pickup, though she ran away.

Then, Monday morning, a woman told police she was walking at the reservoir when someone in a pickup tried to reach out and grab her before speeding off.

"It's scary. It's just a lot. It's worrisome that women are being targeted at such an open public space,” said Katherine Van Pelt, an Altus resident who frequently visits the reservoir.

Van Pelt said the reservoir is usually packed with people, so she tends to head out later at night to avoid them. But, because of the incidents over the last week, she said that will be changing.

"I usually come here around 11:00 or 12:00 at night when it's dark and there's not a lot of people here but I'm trying to not come that late and I usually keep protection on me,” Van Pelt said.

Van Pelt said she's disgusted to think there are people who would attack women but said she won't let those people ruin a place she loves to go.

"It's nice out here, it's pretty and on a day like this it's great to go outside but it doesn't discourage me. It just makes me more mindful of what to look out for,” Van Pelt said.

Jason Greer owns Sims Martial Arts in Altus and said the news of the attempted assaults at the reservoir shocked him.

"When you hear of things like this that happen in your small community, there's a gut wrenching response that people act this way and do these types of things,” Greer said.

That's why Greer is hosting a self-defense class Wednesday, September 6th and Thursday, September 7th at 6:30 p.m. He said the class is open to everyone and will cover a wide variety of topics.

"Situations that we can maybe educate ourselves better and go out in public some strategies there and maybe to being assault and on the ground now and we have to deal with a bigger stronger person attacking us,” Greer said.

Greer suggests coming to the class with a spouse or a close friend you feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations with. The class is $5 per pair and Greer said all of the money will be donated to Cancer research. The class will take place at SIMS Martial Arts at 321 W. Commerce St., right by the Chamber of Commerce and downtown Altus.

If you have any information about the incidents at the reservoir you're encouraged to call the Altus Police Department.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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