A police officer trains joggers to protect themselves after the murder of a woman

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – After the recent kidnapping and murder of a jogger in Memphis, members of the community are taking extra steps to keep themselves and others safe.

Memphis wife and mother, Eliza Fletcher, was abducted during her morning run in Memphis on Friday, September 2. His body was found by police the following Monday.

In the wake of this tragic event, members of the community, like Austin Morgan with Morgan Family Martial Arts in Jonesboro, are placing a new emphasis on safety.

Morgan says he plans to train people in jiu-jitsu, a type of mixed martial arts centered around teaching someone to defend themselves against an attacker.

“It focuses on size and strength and will help people be able to defend against someone who is bigger, stronger and more powerful and will focus on technique that involves leverage,” Morgan said.

Morgan is a Jonesboro police officer and has been training officers in self-defense tactics for two years.

He says anyone can master several self-defense tactics to evade an attacker, but getting out of the dangerous situation alive is the most important part.

“I just have to focus on teaching them how to get out of this situation or neutralize this situation, but that’s what women should be focusing on and they want to survive,” Morgan said.

According to a Runner’s World report, more than half of female joggers under the age of 30 have been harassed, often sexually,

Morgan says there are two very important factors that could help you complete your exercise safely.

“I would recommend trying to stay in well-lit areas and well-populated areas and bringing someone with you when you can, but I know that’s not always possible,” Morgan said.

He also says that carrying a weapon is also a very viable option.

“If you want to take self-defense seriously, I would look at certain types of weapon systems,” Morgan said.

He says there are many popular options that are very effective at neutralizing the threat, but the most crucial part is making sure you’re comfortable with the weapon and can deploy it quickly.

Morgan recommends using mace, but, if you’re comfortable, he says you can always carry a gun.

Morgan Family Martial Arts offers classes to the public. They will be holding an open house at 5.30pm on Wednesday September 7th at their location on Parker Road for anyone who wants to register.

Kristen T. Prall