In this day and age, you can never be too careful. While we don’t want to live in fear, we hear stories on the news all the time about dangerous people. It’s smart to be cautious to avoid getting into a bad situation.
Lilly Germond learned this the hard way. Thankfully, she had the skills she needed to survive.
Lilly was on her way home from a long New Year’s Eve shift at an eatery in Seattle, Washington, when the frightening event occurred. It was around 3:30 a.m. when she neared home and found a parking spot about a block away from the apartment she shares with her boyfriend, Chauncey Arkfeld.
As she walked toward her apartment, she noticed a man quickly coming up behind her. Usually, she says, she is aware and wary of what is going on around her, but many revelers were still out celebrating the new year and she assumed he was one of them, on his way home to the same apartment building.
When Lilly got to the door and put in the key code, she held the door open for the man, and that’s when she realized her terrible mistake.
“I thought it was one of my neighbors and was about to try and get my key out when this guy came straight for me and I realized he had a machete,” she said. “I backed up against my front door and he said, ‘Don’t (expletive) move.’”
Lilly thought the man was trying to rob her, so she held out her bag and told him, “Here, you can have everything.”
But that’s not what he had come for. He grabbed her by the throat and raised the large blade.
Thankfully, Lilly’s father, a former facility captain at a correctional facility and former tactical commander with the State of California, had insisted she take taekwondo while she was growing up. In that terrifying moment, those 10 years of training came rushing back.
“OK, here we go,” she told herself. “It’s either fight or die.”
Lilly grabbed the blade, cutting her hand, and screamed for Chauncey, who was asleep on the couch inside.
When the assailant heard Chauncey moving, he got scared and tried to run away, but Lilly wasn’t about to let him get off so easily.
“I didn’t want him to do this to someone else,” she said.
She was determined to deliver him to the police.
Lilly grabbed the man by the jacket, put him in a headlock, and then tumbled with him out the building’s front door and down the steps. The man fought to get away, biting her all over her hands and arms, but she refused to let go.
Chauncey ran out just in time to see them falling and ran to help. He jumped in and held the attacker while Lilly disarmed him. Then she grabbed a broken table leg someone had left near the stoop and began to hit her attacker.
“He was a coward,” Chauncey said. “He was like, ‘Please stop hitting me. This was my first time doing this.’”
When neighbors heard the commotion they rushed outside and called the police who quickly came and took the assailant away.
The man, Steven Jahn, 21, was charged with felony second-degree assault and fourth-degree assault. He is being held in King County Jail on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 18.
Both Lilly and Chauncey suffered cuts and bruises over much of their bodies, but they know they are lucky to be alive. Police found a second knife and a roll of duct tape on the scene.
“Seeing the duct tape put a horrible feeling in my stomach,” Chauncey said. “It takes it to a whole new level.”
“This guy followed my girlfriend from her car with a machete and duct tape,” he added. “Think about that for a second.”
Lilly’s father could not be more proud of his daughter for the way she handled the terrifying situation and said he’s very glad he forced her to take those taekwondo classes for so many years!
“I’m almost in tears when I talk about her, not because I’m sad but because I’m proud,” he said. “She’s a warrior woman and she’s trained all her life to do this. And I want other girls and other daughters to hear early training is good, self-defense is good.
“My wife said, ‘All these years I thought you were nuts, but you were right.’”
“Those lessons were a chore when I was a child,” she said, “but I think they really saved my life.”
Were you amazed at the way Lilly stood up to her attacker? Then share it!