Montesano attack survivor relieved suspect is in custody
Just days after a woman was raped at a Ballard car dealership, a 21-year-old Montesano woman found herself fighting off an attacker on her walk home from work.
AnnMarie Shuck told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that she was walking through her “quiet” neighborhood at about 8:30 p.m. — an hour this time of year when it is still light out — on May 16 when a man pulled up next to her in a truck, telling her he had a flat tire. The man then stuck a blunt object into her side and told her in a threatening manner to get in the car.
“My very, very first thought was that it was a joke,” she said. “People in Montesano are supposed to be really nice.”
But, she went on, “very quickly I realized it was very real and I thought, ‘I’m gonna die.'”
Shuck does not know what the weapon pressed into her side was, but she still has pain from the pressure a week later. She said she is sure that it was neither a knife nor his hand, and noted that “it felt like a gun.”
Thinking fast and remembering survival skills, Shuck made her body go limp so that it would be as heavy as possible. She screamed and kicked the attacker in the legs.
The man then jumped back in the truck and sped off.
Police later found the man at a homeless encampment in the woods of Mason County. When law enforcement gave her a photo line-up, she immediately picked out her attacker.
“There was no question,” she said. “You don’t forget a face like that, in a situation like that.”
Now the man is behind bars — and Shuck feels quite a bit safer.
“To find out for sure that they had him in custody and he’s not going to hurt anyone else was an incredible relief,” she said.
In the future, Shuck plans to avoid walking as much as she does now. Shuck said that she always carries pepper spray, but it would not have done her any good in this case. The attack happened too quickly to grab the spray, she said, and the man immediately grabbed her dominant arm.
Her only advice to others walking alone is to be aware of their surroundings every single second.
“Be a little more vigilant … it happened in a split second,” she said.