On Your Side: Self-defense expert offers tips to keep you safe while using ride-sharing apps

Protect yourself when using ridesharing apps
Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 10:53 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Police want you to pay more attention to who you’re getting in the car with especially with using Uber or Lyft. That’s after police say a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a man posing as a Lyft driver back in October. Hoover Police arrested 40-year-old Cardalle Bruce Osby during a traffic stop in January.

“First you want to make sure that the information that you provided in the app such as the driver’s name, the car description. Make sure that everything matches. You want to make sure you’re getting in the right car,” Sgt. Rodarius Mauldin with the Birmingham Police Department said.

Another tip is share your location with a close family member or friend and try not to ride alone.

“Pay attention to the route that the driver is taking. Make sure that you look at the map and where you’re supposed to be going,” Mauldin added.

If someone tries attacking you, you may have to put up a fight.

“I was attacked in broad daylight. Someone had been watching me,” Karen Mitchell said.

Karen Mitchell is a master at self-defense but she wasn’t back in her twenties when someone tried to attack her in her apartment.

“I go in and this person followed me right into my door and had me by a knife at my throat,” Mitchell said.

Luckily she escaped and eventually took up martial arts. Mitchell is now an 8th-degree black belt and runs Impact Martial Arts in Pelham. She gives us a few tips on how to fight back.

“You may strike with the front hand. Strike with the back hand. Your back hand is going to be the strongest,” Mitchell said. “Your whole body can be used as a weapon. I can nail him in the face (with your head). If I’m being grabbed a can spin. I can use my fingernails and you want to go for the soft tissue, the throat area.”

Mitchell also offers self-defense classes. You can find out more information from her and more tips here.

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