UTM student Aaron Allen, 23, of Martin rescued a female international student from being assaulted Tuesday at B&R Coin Laundry on Lovelace Avenue. Martin police have arrested Jason Wilson, 23, of Stephenson Road in Martin on charges including kidnapping and attempted rape.
Allen said he was sitting in his truck about 2:30 p.m. when he witnessed the attack. “I was doing some homework while I waited on my boss,” he said. Allen and his boss were working on some mobile homes behind the laundromat.
“I noticed this girl doing her laundry inside the laundromat,” Allen said. “I also noticed that this guy pulled up in a truck as this girl was getting ready to leave.” He said that the woman was carrying a laundry basket with her as she left. The man who pulled up in the truck, later identified as Wilson, then approached the woman.
At first Allen thought that the two were dating or good friends. “This guy reached around the back of the woman’s neck and tried to grab her from behind. I thought surely that he was her boyfriend,” Allen said. “Then, I saw him grab her hair and throw her down.”
Allen then got out of the truck and ran inside the laundromat to the woman’s aid. When Allen went inside, he said, he saw the woman on the ground with the man on top of her throwing punches.
“I ran over there and by the time I got to the door he was straddled on top of her. He had ripped her blouse. When I opened the door, I saw that he had her hands held down. She was crying and yelling for him to stop,” Allen said.
Allen ran inside and grabbed the man by the shirt and shoulders and threw him off the woman. “I threw him up against the wall and then dragged him outside the laundromat.”
Allen said that once he had taken the man outside, the man acted like he was going to attack Allen. “He just got in my face and acted like he was going to do something to me, but I shoved him in the chest on to his truck,” Allen said.
The man then got in his truck and left. But, Allen said, the man drove the truck back by the laundromat at least two times.
After the altercation, Allen was able to notify the police.
Martin Police Detective Sammy Lyles told The Pacer on Thursday that the police report of the incident was not complete because Wilson is a suspect in several burglaries, thefts and other incidents.
Allen said he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “It was the first time I have ever seen anything like this happen and it really upsets me to see something like this. I just did what anybody else, hopefully, would have done,” Allen said.
Allen’s father, Samuel Allen, praised his son’s actions and said he hopes the victim doesn’t hate all Americans because of the attack. “Maybe she will judge us by the last act, not the first act,” he said. “She needs to know that this community will support her in any way it can.”