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Orange woman thankful to be alive after assault

By Debby Schamber

The News staff writer

ORANGE — A 69-year-old Orange woman says she is thankful to be alive after a man entered her home Monday and attacked her.

The woman, who asked to remain nameless, said she had just taken the garbage outside the back door of her home in the 1500 block of 10th Street when she heard something at the door – it was a man later identified as 45-year-old Jerry Jones.

“He was saying, ‘please help me’,” she said of the man at her door.

The woman told Jones she would call the police, but he entered her home and walked toward her, she said.

Before she could get to the phone Jones began to fall forward saying “help me —don’t let them hurt me,” she said.

Grasping onto the neckline of her robe, the two fell to the floor with the 6 foot tall and 250 pound man landing on top of her.

“I remember thinking, he’s going to choke me and not even know he is doing it. He was just out so out of it.”

“I told him to turn me loose and that he was hurting me,” she said.

The woman said Jones continued to scream “don’t stab me” and “don’t shoot me.”

Thinking quickly, the woman realized the only source of help at the time was the medic alert necklace she wore.

“I’ll tell anybody to get one,” she added. “It’s worth every penny.”

After pressing the button the necklace, the began screaming for help. The man then became agitated, she said.

Medical personnel responded to the scene and assessed the situation before calling police.

The woman said she could see police officers at the door and heard them warn Jones to put his hands up or they would use their Taser on him.

A few seconds later she heard the zap of the Taser and felt the man’s grip loosen from her robe.

She said she wonders what could have happened if help had not arrived.

“I pray to God it never happens again or to anybody else,” she said.

Jones was handcuffed but once outside, officers noticed he was becoming non-responsive. Emergency personnel who were still on the scene found him to be in distress.

He was transported to Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital-Orange where he later died. Results of his autopsy are pending.

Earlier in the day, OPD officers responded to a disturbance involving Jones and his girlfriend at a local bank. The girlfriend was arrested for outstanding warrants and transported to the Orange County Jail. After the bank incident, officers last saw Jones walking away from the bank.

Jones’ family member came to the woman’s house a few hours later and apologized for the incident, the woman said. The family member described him as a “nice guy” but had some issues with drugs, she said.

The woman said she still suffers from shoulder and lower pack pains following the incident. She also has emotional distress that she struggles to work though. “I have not been out the door since then,” she added. “I’m sure in time it will all be all right.”

Reach this reporter at 409-883-3571, Ext. 2613, or dschamber@orangeleader.com.