Victim in attack at Walmart thanks saviors

Published: Friday, April 11, 2014 @ 8:10 PM
Updated: Friday, April 11, 2014 @ 11:32 PM

Dora Hemp was trying to protect her granddaughter in a Walmart parking lot Monday night when a stranger asked for her keys, her purse and then started hitting her.

"I told him, 'No,' " Hemp said Friday from her hospital bed.

"Thank God he didn't hurt her. All I remember is that I was getting her out of the car," said Hemp, who was going to buy groceries at the store on York Commons Boulevard. "I didn't see nobody coming. If I would have seen that, I would have jumped back in the car and drove off. He grabbed me from behind.

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"Police say Dionte English, 25, of Detroit, began hitting the 52-year-old Dayton grandmother, injuring her so badly that she needs facial surgery this month to address a broken nose and fractures of her left orbital socket and cheekbone.

She has regained some vision in her right eye, which is swollen.

"I'm in a lot of pain from being beat up," Hemp said. "It went on for a while until they came."

"They" were two Dayton men -- Frederick Goff and James Benson -- who chased after English, first by vehicle and then on foot. They subdued the suspect until police and medics arrived.

"What's right is right and what's wrong is wrong," Goff said. "Whatever walk of life you'd be on, it don't matter. It wasn't right. That could have been my mom. That could have been my girlfriend. That could have been anybody's parents."

Hemp has a message for Goff and Benson: "I would like to tell them thank you because they probably kept me from getting killed. I really wanted to get through to people … they need to know what people out there can do to you."

One of Hemp's children, Christina Revlett, also thanked both men Friday.

"I'm glad they stepped in and helped her," Revlett said. "If they wouldn't have, she may not be here. I was in shock because I've protected my mom all my life, and I wasn't there to protect her."

English remains in the Montgomery County Jail on charges of felonious assault and aggravated robbery. His bond is set at $250,000.

English, who is to be in court on April 16, has admitted to police that he was high at the time of the attack and told them he "wouldn't have done this had he not used cocaine," according to police documents.