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‘Taking back the night’: Residents plan night walk in neighborhood where jogger was attacked

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Residents in a Seminole County community say they’re not familiar with the man deputies say attempted to sexually assault a woman who was out for a jog Monday night.

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A judge denied bond for 19-year-old William Stamper Wednesday, calling him a “danger to the public.”

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Sheriff Dennis Lemma said it took an entire village to not only help the victim when the attack happened Monday night, but also to help find Stamper and arrest him.

According to an arrest report, the jogger removed her headphones because she thought someone was following her.

Deputies said the suspect approached the victim from behind and wrapped his arms around her before taking her to the ground. According to the report, the woman said she struggled with the man for about a minute, screaming for help repeatedly. A nearby resident eventually heard her cries and called 911.

Neighbors say they hadn’t seen Stamper in the area before, but they’re formulating a plan to make sure people like him stay away.

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“We’re taking back the night,” resident Erin Post said.

Post and other community members held a walk Monday night to send a message to any other would-be attackers.

“We’re going to meet at 8:30 p.m. and we’re going to start walking at 8:45 p.m., because that’s what time she was attacked.”

As planned, the group of about 100 people started walking around 8:40 p.m., and did so loudly with safety whistles, lights and megaphones, all while chanting, “We are Wekiva. We are the women of Wekiva!”

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Post says she hopes they send a clear message.

“The reason we’re making the noise is just to show that we are here. This is our community. We are taking back this night. Our women are safe to be out,” Post said. “We’re safe here and if anybody has any idea that this is the community to come and try to scare us back into our homes, we have each other’s backs, and this isn’t the community for you.”

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