JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Riverside woman said she feared for her life Monday afternoon when she realized she was being followed and was eventually chased by a man she did not know.
The woman, who News4Jax has chosen not to identify for her safety, said she was walking her cat in a pet carrier down College Street from a nearby park when she noticed a bright blue car slowly following her. She said she started walking faster and noticed the car also picking up the pace.
“I walked off College Street to the alley behind my house thinking I could lose him, and he ended up turning down the alley which was a red flag because only residents go down that alley,” she recalled. “Fight or flight senses just went off, and I was thinking, ‘I need to get home.’”
At this point, she said, she realized she was danger as she was getting closer to home, so she started running toward her apartment. Fearing he would follow her to her home, she said, she ran through an open space between two buildings on her block. She said she heard an engine rev and then realized the situation had gone from bad to worse.
“He drove his car through that open area between the buildings,” she said.
According to the woman, the man ended up driving through the open area, across the sidewalk and back onto the street.
She said she was able to safely get into her apartment, but when she looked out the window, she realized the driver was still in the area.
“He drove down the alleyway twice looking for me,” she said.
She and her husband, who was already at home, called police.
According to the police complaint affidavit, the woman’s husband also saw the same car go through the alley two times. Her husband described the car as being a bright blue Toyota Corolla with heavy paint chipping on the hood.
The woman and her husband said it appeared the driver was wearing a baseball cap and mask over his face.
According to written statements from another woman who News4Jax was not able to get in touch with, the vehicle in Monday’s incident matches the description of a vehicle involved in a similar incident that happened near Hamilton and Post streets in Murray Hill.
News4Jax spoke to several other women who live close to where the Monday incident took place. They were all shocked by what happened and, like the woman involved in Monday’s incident, vowed to take extra precautions when walking their pet or going for a jog.
“Definitely carry some sort of protection like mace, taser, get a conceal carry,” the woman said.
The woman said she will likely walk with other people and always keep her cellphone on her when she’s out so, if something happens, she can immediately call 911.