Attacked runner shares her story of survival

ATLANTA -- Elizabeth Kalifeh never thought a weekend visit to her hometown of Mobile, Ala., would become a news story, with her as the victim.

While going for a run down a pretty, leafy neighborhood street, Kalifeh was attacked.

"I ran in the middle of the day when it happened, in a neighborhood, a good neighborhood," she said. "I had passed other people, I had my music down. A few steps in, I heard him behind me."

Kalifeh said she originally thought he was a fellow runner trying to pass her.

"As runner's instinct, you go move over because somebody's just faster than you," she said. "And I saw him literally coming at me, and I was in the middle of the road in a neighborhood. And he groped me several times and wouldn't let go, and I was screaming and trying to get him off me. And then he just took off."

But Kalifeh's attacker probably didn't count on newly-installed neighborhood security cameras capturing his image.

Martell Malone, 28, was arrested within days and charged with sexually assaulting Kailfeh and two other women. Two years after his arrest, he pleaded guilty and is serving three years in prison.

Although Malone is locked up, Kalifeh said she is the one who is no longer free.

"It has changed me to be a very fearful woman of everything -- parking decks, grocery stores, being alone, going in and out of my house," she said. "I could have been kidnapped. I could have been killed. Those are things you don't like to think about."

Kalifeh now runs with Mace, a Taser, friends -- but she still worries about how she could win a fight against a man determined to hurt her.

"When you're five foot four and there's a six foot two, 250-pound man coming at you, there's nothing you can do," she said.

RELATED | Jogger attacked on Silver Comet Trail
RELATED | Man with Taser chases cyclist at Red Top Mountain
RELATED | Police release sketch of Freedom Parkway Trail suspect

LIKE 11Alive's Facebook page to get the latest breaking news and weather alerts, plus discuss trending topics!

Download the 11Alive News app to get the latest news while you're on the go! It's free! iTunes | Android


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment