Woman attacked in front of Little Haiti home speaks about fighting off suspect

MIAMI (WSVN) - Police continue to search for a man accused of attacking one woman and sexually assaulting another. Meanwhile, one victim who managed to escape told 7News how she fought him off.

Experts showed 7News how women who are put in a similar situation can fight back against an aggressor, Tuesday.

A boot camp instructor advised women to be aware of their surroundings, assume someone is watching and consider carrying car keys as a way to fight off an attacker.

The search continues for the man caught on surveillance video pushing a woman into her Little Haiti home during an attack. Officials said 34-year-old Tavares Canty is the man in the video, and they believe he could still be in the Little Haiti neighborhood or on the run.

“It was so fast, I didn’t have time to think,” said the victim, who did not want to be identified. “I was screaming all the time, and nobody heard.”

The 29-year-old woman told 7News about the terrifying moments at her front door, Thursday morning.

“Very scared. I’m still scared,” the victim said.

Cameras captured the victim as she ran away from her home, leaving the attacker behind. “Very lucky, very lucky,” said the victim.

Officials said Canty broke into a nearby home about an hour later and sexually assaulted another woman.

In that attack, police said, Canty had a gun.

“What’s concerning to us right now is that another victim at any given second — it could be a child, it could be an adult, it could be anyone — could be a victim of this individual,” said Miami Police Cmdr. Freddie Cruz.

This is why self-defense experts said you should always be aware of your surroundings. “You have to already assume that you have a criminal who is studying you; he’s looking for an opportunity,” said Joe Robaina with COBRA Defense Miami.

Robaina said it’s best to take precaution. Stay off the phone, focus and consider carrying your keys in a way that can be used as a weapon.

“You take that key that presents a blunt object and that hammering motion,” he said.

The Little Haiti victim who managed to get away may have saved her own life by putting up a fight.

“I’m just hoping that the police catch him,” the victim said. “It could happen to any woman because he seems crazy. I believe that he is very dangerous.”

Police released surveillance images of a man they said is Canty walking with a bicycle on the morning of the attack.

If you have any information on Canty’s whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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