Cleveland man on mission to keep women safe; Twon Billings moved by 2010 murder teaches self-defense
Deb Lee, newsnet5.com
6:58 PM, Jul 23, 2013
8:40 PM, Jul 23, 2013
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Dana Jeter jumped into the car and drove away at breakneck speed trying to get away from the man with the gun.
Fortunately, it wasn't a real attack. Self-defense trainer Twon Billings was teaching her how to protect herself.
"It was so real that I got actually involved in it and I was afraid for my life," Jeter said. "I thought what if I was ever in this situation, would I panic like this?"
Billings has been teaching women self-defense for about a year. About 60 have taken his class so far. He told NewsChannel5 he was moved to do something in 2010 when 26-year-old Angel Bradley-Crockett, a mother of three, was murdered then dumped along the side of Interstate 90.
"That really touched me," Billings said. "I thought about how that impacted her children. My mother is deceased and I think about what if that was my mom. How would I feel?"
Billings' efforts don't end with the self-defense training. He's organizing a Violence Against Women Coalition made up of judges and other city leaders. His mission for the group, which holds its first meeting on Wednesday, is to find and implement solutions on how to keep women, senior citizens and families safe.
"I'm angry because we're not doing enough," he said, "and I'm afraid that the community is going to become immune to this and when they become immune to it, it's going to become a regular."