In a self-defense class Wednesday morning, former Fort Worth Police Sgt. Richard Morris showed us how important it is to have basic skills that can save your life.

We also saw that importance twice in the past week after two women in north Fort Worth reported being attacked in their own homes, not far from each other.

"I kicked him. And when I kicked him, I guess it scared him—and he let go," said a woman named Taylor, who police said was attacked Sunday night in her garage near Marine Creek Lake.

One of the attacks, which police consider an attempted sexual assault, was caught on camera.

"I woke up to him putting his hand over my mouth and nose and strangling me with the other hand," said the young woman who was attacked while sleeping early Saturday morning.

Both women fought back, screaming, and the suspects fled.

"When women fight back, they have a greater chance of survival," Sgt. Morris said based on industry research.

Retired Fort Worth Police Sgt. Richard Morris

Morris teaches self-defense and has been following these stories.

"They both were able to use their head," Morris said of the women. "They did a good job by... screaming, by crying out to other people."

In light of these attacks, he recommended practicing keeping calm and deep breathing. He said if your heart rate gets too high in stressful situations, it can cause things like tunnel vision, which is not helpful during high-stress moments.

He also said to go through scenarios in your own home and have an escape plan. Morris said learning simple self-defense tactics helps, too.

Another thing these two cases had in common was that neither home had adequate lighting outside. Morris said that is another vital and easy way to protect yourself.

"We have to make our home as well as our self a hard target," Morris says.

That means having well-lit porches and properly-locked doors and windows. What won't always help, he said, is having some sort of protection, which both women had. If it is out of reach at that moment, it won't be of use. And sometimes, the weapon or tool can be used against you.

The suspects from both cases have not been caught. If you have tips on either case, call (817) 469-TIPS.

In light of this recent violence, Sgt. Morris is now offering a self-defense seminar. Details below.

  • Event: Free Women’s Safety and Self-Defense Seminar
  • Presenter: Sgt. Richard M. Morris, FWPD retired
  • Location: Fort Worth Police Department Training Center Auditorium, 505 W. Felix Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76115
  • Date: Thursday, November 3, 2016
  • Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.