Pleasanton woman fights off motorist who grabs her on Andrews Drive

Escapes man's grip as driver flees scene Friday morning

A 24-year-old woman walking to work was grabbed by a man who had pulled alongside her in a vehicle in Pleasanton Friday morning, but he drove away after the woman fought back, a police sergeant said.

At about 8 a.m., the woman was walking along Andrews Drive when a vehicle approached the curb while facing the wrong way on the road so the driver's side of the car was near the woman, Sgt. Scott Rohovit said.

The woman, thinking the driver wanted to ask for directions, approached the vehicle. As she got close, a man in the driver's seat said: "Hey, can I ask you a question?" but then grabbed the woman's right forearm, Rohovit said.

The woman was able to brush the man aside and stepped back from the vehicle, which the man then drove away before she could alert authorities, according to Rohovit.

The suspect is described as a black man between 25 and 30 years old who is about 6 feet tall and weighs between 200 and 230 pounds with a muscular build. He was driving a early 1990s black, four-door sedan, Rohovit said.

Rohovit also offered this safety tip: "The most important thing you can do when you are walking alone is to be aware of your surroundings. Understand that criminals look for easy opportunities to assault an unsuspecting victim. Do not approach strangers or vehicles you are not familiar with."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact

Pleasanton police at (925) 931-5100.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 21, 2010 at 8:13 am

Everyone, women in particular, should read Gavin deBecker's book, The Gift of Fear. Listen to the voice in your head (and more often in the pit of your stomach) that tells you the situation isn't safe. The car approaching her going in the wrong direction (so that the driver was closest to her) should have been/might very well have been this young woman's first clue that something wasn't right. I thank God that this woman came to no harm and the presence of mind to react like she did. I imagine she was upset pretty badly, however. Let this be a reminder to all of us that crime happens even in Pleasanton. Be safe out there.

Is it just me or am I hearing/reading more incidents like this happening to people walking in P-town lately? And, more importantly, not just late at night. The victims are always walking alone, however. How sad!

Like this comment
Posted by M.
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm

M. is a registered user.

Absolutely listen to your gut, if it says danger, pay attention. Create distance between the threat and yourself. If it turns out to be nothing, no harm done. If it turns out to be a real threat, be glad you gave yourself that distance, and more importantly time to decide on a course of action.

These days most of us have a phone with us at all times, and with that phone comes a feeling of safety. We can call the police to help us if the need should arise, without having to go searching for a public phone or the like. However, don't let yourself think of your phone as a bulletproof vest. If someone is intent on doing you harm they will do so. They can simply rip the phone from your hand, break it, or toss it in the bushes, out of reach. If you do get a call into the police, remember they won't be there instantly, you have to fend for yourself until they can get to you. Be smart don't find yourself standing inches away from an attacker or other threat because you ignored your instincts.


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm

We usually let our desire to be polite override our fear. I used to take walks along Bernal Ave. and drivers would often slow down and pull over to ask directions (I'm guessing). I never stopped walking or looked at them. I just didn't want to take the risk. I told my children the same thing, because drivers will even ask a kid where a road is, etc. I told my kids, these are grown-ups who can take care of themselves, it's not your problem if they're lost, keep walking, don't pause to be polite and try to hear what they're saying. Kids are sweet and their instinct is to try and help, unfortunately, they have to be told to override that.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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