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Woman escapes rapists grasp

A 30-year-old Gresham woman escaped from two men who robbed and tried to rape her early Thursday, Nov. 30, according to a police report.

The attack happened as the woman left a restaurant, where she works as a janitor, in the 2700 block of Southeast Burnside Road at 3:10 a.m.

As she headed toward her vehicle, a man wearing a white Halloween mask complete with eyebrows grabbed her from behind. He pointed a gun at her face and demanded the restaurant keys.

She said she didn't have them, pushed the gun away and dropped to her knees looking down. After he repeatedly demanded the restaurant keys, the woman handed over her car keys, which the second suspect used to try to unlock the restaurant doors.

When he failed, the men turned their attention back to the woman. One man grabbed her shirt, pulled her up to a standing position and moved her toward a nearby hedge.

The woman managed to slip out of her shirts and run away. She fled toward another nearby restaurant, where bystanders called the police.

Although she noted a white van slowly leaving the area, she told police she didn't know whether it was her attackers' vehicle. Officers found the van and questioned its driver, who said he was delivering newspapers, but did say he saw a woman running down the street.

Sgt. Teddi Anderson, Gresham police spokeswoman, said the woman is to be commended for her quick thinking during such a traumatic attack.

'She was savvy, had the foresight to think about what she had to do to get away,' Anderson said. Plus she ran to a nearby business where people could help her and managed to get a suspect description.

But most importantly, 'she didn't give up,' Anderson said. 'Always think about a way to make yourself safe or escape.'