Lone Tree kidnapping sparks awareness about defense against knife intimidation and attacks

LONE TREE, Colo. -- In light of a recent kidnapping at knifepoint in Lone Tree, martial arts instructors are sharing insight about knife intimidation and attacks, some saying they are more common than we might think.

“Intimidations like this you can barely even see,” said Vic Spatola, Martial Arts Instructor at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club. “This is a silent weapon. This doesn’t go off and make a loud noise and attract people’s attention.”

Spatola said keeping distance and using maneuvers to escape can all help you to get away from an attacker, an awareness he’s seen a sharp increase in this year.

“In the last six to seven months I can tell you for sure that people have come to me to learn more about knife attacks than in the last two to three years,” said Spatola.

Recently a woman was kidnapped in a Lone Tree parking lot after a man pulled a knife on her and said get in the car. Baristas at a nearby Starbucks saw what happened and called for help.

“To even be able to notice what was going on out there to the point that they recognized that a woman was in distress and to think through hey let’s call police,” said Reggie Borges with Starbucks Coffee Company Global Corporate Communications. “We are just grateful that our partners moved quickly. We are grateful that the customer was not seriously harmed. I am sure it was a scary situation for her.”

The woman kidnapped was eventually able to get away at a convenience store. The man police arrested in connection to the kidnapping, Paul Nader, is currently in the Douglas County Jail with 13 counts against him. His next court appearance is set for Oct. 4.

Spatola said if you see a threat coming, the most important thing is to maintain your distance.

“If someone pulls out a knife and you see that, you are going to try to hit that with your purse or your bag. Whatever it takes, walk around, walk in a circle, use it as a perimeter to not get closer or let that person closer to you,” said Spatola.

Spatola said the situation in Lone Tree is also an important reminder to always be aware of your surroundings.

“Awareness of who you are engaging with, awareness of not having your phone on you 24/7 looking down at it when suddenly you are somewhere you shouldn’t be or someone is in front of you that you didn’t even see coming up to you,” said Spatola.

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