Self-defense workshop held after woman attacked outside East Dallas Whole Foods

A woman who was attacked by a robber outside an East Dallas Whole Foods Market earlier this month says she barely had time to react.

A nearby Dallas ISD police officer saw what was happening and confronted the robber and shot at him when police say the suspect tried to run down the officer.

The woman is now talking about what happened as police prepare to host a self-defense workshop.

The workshop is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lakewood United Methodist Church on Abrams Road, which is just three blocks north of where the attempted robbery happened. Everyone who attends will have the opportunity to learn how to break a plank with their hand.

Mariana Greene says it happened so fast.

“It was terrifying,” she said. “He was talking to me and then reached out and grabbed my purse.”

The October 17th incident might have been worse if not for the Dallas ISD police officer who heard Greene scream for help. Police say he confronted the robber and fired two shots when the suspect tried to run him over, hitting his police car. No one was injured, but the robber got away.

Dr. Nick Chamberlain with Chamberlain Studios is hosting the workshop along with DPD. He says awareness of your surroundings is one step of self-defense.

“You're never going to get away from a big strong guy. Instead deliver as much punishment as you can as quickly as you can they eyes, the throat and the groin,” he explained. “Magically, he should let go once you cause enough damage.”

“I feel like with what I've learned so far I have the potential to push back on a threat, enough to get away. That's one of the principals here is to get away,” said East Dallas resident Emily Fenlaw.

“Part of the class is have the women break a board. Obviously, boards don't fight back,” Chamberlain said. “But it is a demonstration of speed power and accuracy. Same resistance as breaking someone's nose. We want women to feel empowered that they can do something to defend themselves.” 

Chamberlain says 95 percent of self-defense is awareness. That means putting your phone down and paying attention when you're walking to your car.