Man assaults student in daylight at Northpark

Rebecca Watts

Broad daylight does not hinder sexual assaults.

Jessica Stansill, senior mass communication and Spanish major, was assaulted at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Northpark Mall parking lot in front of Old Navy.

There were few cars.

Stansill was on her lunch break, running an errand and was in a hurry. The assailant was hiding behind her car, waiting for her.

“I didn’t see him at all,” she said. “I felt him grab my leg from underneath the car, and try to pull me down.”

Even though Stansill kicked and screamed, she still remembered what she had learned from her uncle, Ken Kennedy, director of the Missouri Southern department of public safety, in a RAD class last spring.

“That’s why I didn’t freeze and was able to defend myself,” she said. “The RAD class is beneficial.”

Kennedy is glad his niece was able to defend herself with methods she learned from the class, and encourages more students to participate in RAD. RAD stands for Rape Aggression Defense.

“No girl ever knows when she’ll be victimized,” he said.

The next RAD class, Oct. 19, is already full.

However, Kennedy said he will be offering two more classes next spring.

During the attack, Stansill was on her cell phone, and when the assailant saw the phone he paused, allowing her to close her car door.

“The scariest part was when I had just shut the door, he glared at me,” she said.

“I couldn’t stop shaking for a long time.”

Authorities have not yet contacted Stansill to notify her the attacker has been caught, but she identified him from a police mug shot.

Police told Stansill this is not the first time this man has attacked someone.