Woman pushed to floor, molested at Dothan public library

The Library System is reevaluating security procedures after the terrifying sexual attack on a last week.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -The Dothan Houston County Library System is reevaluating security procedures after the terrifying sexual attack on a woman last week.

“This is an isolated attack by a clearly dangerous individual,” is how DHCLS Director Chris Warren described the incident at the downtown Dothan branch.

A man pushed the unnamed victim to the floor midday on Friday and forced himself on her, according to reports obtained by News 4.

If not for quick action of others, a bad situation would have become worse.

“We had three employees and a Good Samaritan patron who removed the assailant from (on top of) the victim,” Warren told News 4.

They detained 37-year-old Anthony Paul Salmon of Dothan until police arrived and charged him with Sexual Abuse and Attempted Rape.

Warren worries about library staff traumatized by this horrific incident.

“We want to make sure (employees) have the resources they need for recovery and self-care,” he said.

Though praising their quick response to the attack, Warren is considering self-defense training for library employees.

“And we’re also working with our Board of Trustees on other things that we can do…whether that is upgrades to our camera systems or upgrades to our security guard practices,” he said.

But, as a non-profit, financial resources are limited and even the most stringent security measures may not have prevented Friday’s attack.

“This kind of brings things into reality and make you think that can happen any place at any time,” said Dothan City Commissioner Gantt Pierce, whose personal office is a block from the library.

Pierce, an attorney, said he has implemented additional security measures in the past year.

Dothan police say there is no apparent motive for Salmon’s alleged attack, but stress that he and the victim are not acquaintances.

“This is an isolated incident,” said Dothan Police Lieutenant Ronald Hall.

Held without bond, Salmon’s arrest record dates to 2006.

Two years ago, he received probation for a domestic violence charge.

He has no previous sex charges, per court records.

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