Recent crime victims to hold women’s self-defense classes

After Bill Black was the victim of an attempted carjacking that was caught on video last year in Hazel Dell, he and his wife are fighting back by hosting a women’s self-defense course, with an expert who will help stop crime before it takes place.

Bill and Kelyn Black want to educate the public on being aware of their surroundings

Paul Valencia

Two recent victims of crime are hoping to turn a negative into a positive, organizing a seminar to help women stop crime before it happens.

Bill Black and his wife Kelyn Black are hosting a Women’s Self Defense Course on Thursday, March 21 at Living Room Realty, 107 W. 7th Street in Vancouver. There are two times available, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Bill Black was the victim of an attempted carjacking in February of 2023 in Hazel Dell, an incident that was caught on surveillance cameras. Black jumped back into his car and fought off the criminal, who ran away. The suspect was arrested many months later and the case is still pending.

The incident bothered Bill Black for many reasons. One, though, is because he usually is aware of his surroundings, he said.

Not that day. 

He had stopped to adjust the air on his vehicle’s tires. In the video, he can be seen initially on the driver’s side with the air hose. Once Black moved to the passenger side of the car, the suspect made his move. Black said he did not notice the suspect in his car until he heard the car door close.

Black did not hesitate. He got in the car through the passenger door, and started fighting with the suspect. The suspect had managed to put the car in reverse and hit the accelerator. Black was able to stop the car, put it in park, and chase the suspect away from his car.

Now he and his wife are hoping to educate the public.

“I think people need to be aware of their surroundings. I lost my awareness. I became complacent,” Bill Black said. “I don’t leave keys in the car anymore. I lock the car. We just have to protect ourselves.”

Part of moving forward for the Blacks is to hold these seminars. There are a few openings remaining for the 10 a.m. class, and there is also a 6 p.m. class. For more information, and to sign up for the class, go to:

Black said if the sessions fill up, he and his wife will add more classes.

The class will be taught by Jeremy Romig, who has decades of martial arts training. He also is an expert on utilizing preemptive strategies for safety. His approach is to inspire confidence and provide practical tools for navigating today’s world securely.

This first seminar will highlight situational awareness. The Blacks hope to hold more classes in the future, which will include physical self-defense techniques.

Bill Black said he has been watching the news of late, locally and nationally, and he has become concerned with what seems like the government’s move toward a light-handed touch regarding criminals. 

The suspect in his case has a long list of criminal behavior, Black said.

“We can’t allow bad guys to do it three, four, five times, because the sixth time is going to cost somebody’s life,” Black said.

In his situation, when the suspect put the car in reverse, the car came close to hitting gas pumps, with other cars and their drivers. Plus, Black himself received minor injuries in the incident. 

Black, by the way, said he did not jump into action because of the car. He was working that day and had sensitive work information in his car. He did not want that information in the hands of a criminal. 

But he also will always remember the encounter. The next time he stops for gas, or to go into a convenience store, or to even be right next to his car putting air in his tires, he will be looking for potential problems. He will also have his car locked and his key with him.

Romig will share various examples of how criminals determine targets, and how women can help minimize their risks. While the class is for women, the advice is good for all.

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