Woman knees attacker to escape sexual assault

The woman who survived an attack in her home on Sept. 3. 2016 (KXAN Photo)
The woman who survived an attack in her home on Sept. 3. 2016 (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin man is behind bars after police say he broke into two homes and tried to sexually assault one of the residents earlier this month in a neighborhood near Airport Boulevard and Highway 290.

Police were sent to Wilshire Parkway around 9:30 a.m. Sept. 3 after a resident there reported a man broke into his house and threatened him with a piece of rebar. The homeowner ran and locked himself inside a bedroom and called police. While they were investigating, officers encountered a woman screaming for help.

“I jumped over my fence and ran down the driveway into the street, I was covered in blood and thankfully there was a patrol car and a policeman that was already in the area,” the victim says.

The woman told officers the man walked into her back door, entered her bedroom and began beating her with a metal bar. That’s when the burglar told the woman he was going to make her his girlfriend, exposed himself and threatened to kill her.

Christopher Newberry is accused of attacking a woman on Wilshire Parkway on Sept. 3 (APD Photo)
Christopher Newberry is accused of attacking a woman on Wilshire Parkway on Sept. 3 (APD Photo)

“[He] started strangling me, assaulting me, punching me in the face, threatening to kill me, he attempted to sexually assault me as well, and thankfully I wasn’t raped,” the victim said. “He had a hold of my hair the whole time we were struggling and was kind of violently thrusting me around by my hair and so at one point he had threatened to kill me again, and I told him I would do whatever he wanted, as long as he just let go of my hair, and for some reason he did and when he did, I grabbed him and I kneed him as hard as I could.”

After the woman kneed the man in the groin she ran out of the house to a marked Austin Police Department vehicle parked directly in front of her house.

“Literally by the grace of God, there was already a cop in the middle of the street and I ran into him and they apprehended the man and he’s in jail now,” the woman said. “Because as it turned out, he had broken into a home, two houses down from me.”

Police found the suspect, identified as Christopher Newberry, still in the home. He was taken into custody.

“In the moments where I believed I was going to die, I thought about all the people that I care about that I was never going to see again,” the woman said. “In those moments, it wasn’t my physical strength that was able to get me out of it, it was mental strength and just being able to wait for an opportunity.”

The survivor told KXAN she wanted to share her story to empower women.

“I want other women to draw strength and realize that you can change somebody else’s life by giving your story and by not being afraid to talk about it,” the woman said.

She also wanted to thank the Austin Police Officer who was at her home and helped her.

“I think that is definitely worth mentioning, especially right now with the climate of what is going on with police, because I can say, I’ve never been so happy to see a cop in my life,” the woman said. “Just thank you, I mean, I literally ran into his arms and just knowing he was there and just the way he spoke with me and everything, I have so much gratitude in my heart and for him and I thank him and his family.”

Newberry is being held on seven charges in the Travis County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.

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