Del. jogger recovers from mace attack

WILMIINGTON, Del. - October 12, 2010

"The mace was hitting me in the eyes, arms were hitting me in the back, the head," said victim Courtney Houston.

She was jogging past a busy corner of Brandywine Park around 5:00 p.m. Monday when she sees a group of teens.

She nods at them, then thinks someone hit her with a squirt gun.

"I think three seconds went by and I thought 'Oh my gosh, I can't see my eyes are burning. What's going to happen next?" Houston said.

The red welt behind her ear is evidence of the assault. As she blindly battled back, she wondered: Are the girls leading the attack trying to kill her?

"For a second I thought that. For a split second I did not know what they were capable of. I didn't know what they had in their hands," she said.

Her screams brought help and the teens fled into the woods. But, officers say, they returned to target a male jogger. However, his sunglasses protected his eyes.

"The mace did not hit his eyes but on his arm. He was not attacked by the juveniles," said Sgt. Steven Barnes of the Wilmington Police.

That corner is a very popular spot for walkers and joggers. The attacks had people unsettled.

"That makes me so worried to come here by myself during the day. I don't like that," said Andrea Roehrs of Wilmington.

No one knows what the motive was behind the attack. The assailants made no demands.

"I still ask myself that. Why did they do that?" Houston said.

The group of juveniles has not been located.

Anyone with information can call Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.