Senior Report: Elderly woman attacked at high rise

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -A 78 year old woman who lives at Chateau du Lac high rise on Mill Street is telling the story of how she was attacked last week as she was entering her apartment. The elderly crime victim hopes her neighbors can learn from her misfortune.

It was just after noon Thursday. Jean Lee was bringing her groceries inside at Chateau du Lac.  A young man who had opened the door for her. I said thank you and went ahead and got on the elevator. She went up to her floor and as she neared her apartment realized the young man was still there. " I looked back and he said, 'Do you need some help?' I said, 'No I don't, I do this all the time by myself.'"

She made the mistake of unlocking her door. "When I turned around to lock it he had come in behind me and he locked the door. And the first thing he did was put his hands over my mouth. And I started screaming. And eventually my alarm went off. That's what saved me," said Lee.

Anita Theall, heard Lee's screams and her alarm and came to her rescue. When Theall got there Lee was on the floor with the attacker standing over her. "And I said, 'What are you doing?' And I think I scared him and I said, 'get outa here.' And then I thought, 'No, don't get out of here. You wait. I'm calling 911,'"said Theal.

Residents say the 16 year old assailant fled, but was soon arrested hiding in his grandmother's apartment on another floor. Lee wants other residents to be more aware. Plus she hopes efforts will be made to improve security at the high rise. "I would just like for our building to be safe. One thing residents agree would be helpful would be installation of security cameras in the hallways,"said Lee.

"Women are beginning to be afraid here. And I"d like a bit more safety," said Resident Pat Lang.  Resident James Doxey is involved with the Residents' Association.  "Chateau's an eight story high rise building, 198 apartments and at nighttime, from six at night until six in the morning, we have only one security guard.

The residents association will meet and discuss the incident and what can be done.

The Chateau du Lac management says they plan to hold a seminar on personal safety for residents and that they are looking into ways to improve security.  As far as security cameras in hallways, high rise management says that's an issue for LC Housing Authority officials.

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