Irmo woman mugged in Harbison Walmart parking lot
Irmo resident Kristen Rimes experienced an incident Saturday night that left her in a state of shock. The 27-year-old left a restaurant in the Harbison area around 11:30 p.m., then pulled into the Walmart parking lot to quickly type a friend’s address in her GPS.
According to Rimes, she was positioned on the outskirts of the lot, when she heard a voice from behind her vehicle yell, “hey girl.”
“I didn’t see anybody, just heard a voice. I said I wasn’t interested and I just rolled my window up,” Rimes recounted. “I had put my car in park and I didn’t think about how my doors unlock automatically when I do that.” Rimes said the next thing she knew, a man opened her car door and pulled her out, causing her head to hit the concrete. “I felt a hit to the right side of my face almost immediately after that,” she said.
According to Rimes, after she was on the ground, she felt the suspect begin to pull on her pants. “He started tugging on my pants. Then I suddenly hear another guy scream, ‘What’s going on over there?’ And at that point, the guy took off,” she said. “The man who yelled never came back, I just take it as an angel sent from God right at that time.”
After the suspect ran, Rimes said it took her a second to realize what had just happened to her. She said her immediate thought was getting back home to her two young children. “I wanted to get home and get out of there. I went first thing Monday morning to file the police report to pull camera footage, which I am so mad at myself for not calling them that night. I think I was in such shock,” she said.
Although Rimes did not get a good look at the suspect, she said the only time she got a brief visual was when he pulled her out of her car. “He was a black male, medium build, wearing a hoodie with a jacket over it,” she said.
Rimes said she feels as though there are a lot of things she “should” have done in the situation. “You always hear that people’s reactions are fight or flight, and mine was just to kind of run out of there.” But she wants people to know what happened to her so that they can be aware of the situation. “The world’s not as kind as it should be, and sometimes we have to look out for each other,” she added.
Columbia Police Department’s Public Information Officer Jennifer Timmons confirmed that Rimes did file her police report at the department’s headquarters Monday morning. Timmons said there has been an investigator assigned to her case.
As for the male who yelled out at the suspect, Rimes said she just wants to thank him. “I would love to know who he is. He definitely is an angel,” she said. “I hold a big place in my heart for whoever he is. He allowed me to get back to my kids, and I’m very grateful.”