The waitress who slammed a customer to the floor after he groped her during her shift at a Georgia restaurant has spoken out following the incident.
Emelia Holden, 21, immediately tackled Ryan Cherwinski after he touched her bottom as he walked past her in footage captured on CCTV – and now has said she “didn’t even think” before responding.
“I looked at him and I said, ‘You don’t touch me, ************! I didn’t even think, I just reacted. I don’t know how I reacted the way I did. I’ve never done that before,” Holden told People magazine.
At first, Holden couldn’t imagine that a stranger had just grabbed her in such an “intimate” way and her first thought was it must have been a friend.
But when she realised it was a stranger, she reacted – grabbing the collar of his shirt and putting him into a choke-hold before throwing him to the ground.
“I don’t care who you are. You have no right to disrespect me,” the 21-year-old told Inside Edition.
After calling the police, who reviewed the footage, Cherwinski, 31, was arrested, charged with sexual battery, according to the Savannah Police Department, and taken to jail, where he spent two nights.
Prior to his inappropriate behaviour, the father-of-two had been dining with his partner of 11 years.
“Once the police saw the video, they immediately arrested him,” Holden told the magazine, revealing that she is “not glad that it happened, but I’m glad that it’s had such a positive outcome.”
Since footage of the incident went viral many are praising the 21-year-old for her quick response.
“If someone invades your personal space, violates your body or makes any advance towards you that is unwelcome, you have every right to defend yourself! Sometimes you have to be your own hero,” one woman wrote.
Another said: “She is my new hero!”
Holden is now directing the attention and admiration she’s received from the video to a good cause – cat shelters.
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SOURCE: Independent – Chelsea Ritchel