By J. Coyden Palmer, Chicago Crusader
A woman on the city’s West Side is lucky to be alive after a man broke into her home and sexually assaulted her before being knocked unconscious with a crowbar by the victim.
Angela Ferguson did what security experts say was the best thing: fought for her life after 30-year-old Dorval Grice allegedly entered Ferguson’s residence through an unlatched window in the 1300 block of South Throop on October 17.
Ferguson, 58, said she was awakened by Grice, a neighbor, when he grabbed her hair and began demanding oral sex. After she successfully stopped the attack, the victim went outside to call police, but said it took three calls to 911 before the first officer responded.
She said Grice began assaulting her as soon as he woke her up, and she was fighting with him the entire time of the frightening ordeal. First, she used a beer stein and crashed it against Grice’s head as he was on top of her, Ferguson recounted. The two continued the brutal fight for several minutes as it left both combatants bloodied, according to a Chicago Police Department spokesperson.
At one point, Ferguson successfully pushed Grice out of her bedroom and she started looking to call for help. But she said he broke through the door and tried to attack her again. At that point, she armed herself with a crowbar she keeps nearby and began beating the suspect repeatedly until he was unconscious.
Local security expert Rick Pere said the woman absolutely did the right thing. A certified Concealed Carry License instructor in Illinois, Pere said the woman used the legal amount of necessary force to stop the attack, which could have resulted in great bodily harm or death. Pere said many people in the United States do not realize citizens are responsible for their own safety, not the police.
“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the governments, particularly the police, are not responsible for your safety,” Pere explained. “I think people have this notion that 911 will save you. They are sadly mistaken. You are responsible for your own well-being and those of the ones you love, like children in your home, or when you’re on the streets. Not everyone is cut out or capable of owning a firearm, so you better arm yourself with something else.”
After a bond hearing for Grice on October 18, prosecutor Brian Grisman said the victim “did what she needed to do.” He said the suspect has been arrested twice before for aggravated robbery and possession of a controlled substance. He appeared in bond court with bruises, lacerations and swelling about his face and is currently being held on a $250,000 bond at the Cook County Jail.
Grisman said when police arrived on the scene around 7 a.m. they found Grice unconscious laying on the bed in the victim’s residence. Police said Ferguson will not be charged with any crime because she stopped assaulting her attacker after he was no longer a threat to her.
Pere said what the woman did was textbook. He said many people come to his classes thinking a gun is the answer to everything; it is just one self-defense tool, but any time a weapon is used for defense, the user needs to be cognizant of the law or they will be in big trouble.
“She stopped beating him with the crowbar when he was no longer a threat to her life. According to the law that is exactly what you do. People can go over the top, and that’s what lands you in prison,” Pere said.
The CPD would not comment on why it took three calls to 911 before an officer arrived, but said they will look into the matter. The 12th District police station is less than two blocks from where the attack took place.