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Woman says she was attacked inside toilet stall at east TN Big Lots

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If you recognize the man captured in surveillance video, contact Alcoa Police at (865) 380-4964. (Source: WATE) If you recognize the man captured in surveillance video, contact Alcoa Police at (865) 380-4964. (Source: WATE)
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By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

ALCOA, TN (WATE) – A woman who says she was attacked inside the bathroom stall of an Alcoa discount store has a warning for all women.

The victim, who does not wish to disclose her identity, says a man crawled under the stall door while she was inside.

She kicked him and screamed.

Police say the suspect took off running. He left behind a hammer.

"This is a very sick, sick, sick, individual. He will not stop until he's caught," the victim said. "I never in my wildest dreams thought when I went through that bathroom door that there was a male in that bathroom. He was in there, waiting, with a weapon."

The woman says the intruder was hiding in a bathroom stall, likely waiting for a woman to come in alone. He had taken off his shoes to be quiet, she said.

"He just swooped under the door and his body was half way up in the stall with me. I proceeded to kick him with everything I had in me. I never stopped screaming," she described.

Alcoa Police Department Detective Kris Sanders has been reviewing surveillance video since the incident on Saturday afternoon.

"In my opinion, he went to the store knowing he was going to do this. He picked up a certain item to take into the bathroom that could definitely be used as a weapon to incapacitate an individual," Det. Sanders said.

"There's no doubt in my mind I would have been brutally raped," the victim said.

She believes he would have raped her and harmed her with the hammer. That's why she also felt she needed to be brave enough to tell her story publicly.

"What really scares me is that this could be you. This could be your mother, this could be your nieces, this could be your grandchildren," she said.

She says she will never go into a public restroom alone again. She also wishes restrooms would have some sort of emergency alarm. That way when something goes wrong, she says you won't have to go out and ask for help. That's what she had to do.

6 News contacted Big Lots about the incident, but store managers have not commented.

If you recognize the man captured in surveillance video, contact Alcoa Police at (865) 380-4964.

Copyright 2013 WATE. All rights reserved.

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