A woman says she was assaulted by a man in downtown Augusta Friday night. She told police that after she was assaulted, the man stole her vehicle. Hours later, deputies arrested Levon Smiley and charged him with hijacking a motor vehicle and battery.
The victim, Vanika Walcott, says she is thankful the man who attacked her is behind bars. She says she has been worried since the attack on Friday, but she isn't letting that stop her from telling others that they need to be careful when they go to downtown Augusta at night.
"He was trying to come towards the car, thinking I was going to get over. And right when he came this way that is when I saw the opening and I dashed out here," says Walcott.
Walcott tells us the story of how she narrowly escaped from the man who she says assaulted her and then stole her car. She says it happened just after 2 a.m. on Friday when she got into her car. Walcott says this man, Levon Smiley, opened up her car door and demanded money.
"And he said, 'I'm not playing with you.' I told him no. He told me he would assault me if I didn't give him what he wanted. He got upset with me. He started punching me in my head and he demanded that I move to the passenger side, so he could get in and take me away. I refused his request," says Walcott.
Walcott says that the assault happened on the middle of Broad Street. She says it was well-lit and says there were dozens of people leaving bars at the time.
Walcott says she got away and ran down the street. She says Smiley ran after her, grabbed her and ripped her clothes off, leaving her naked in the street. She says some bystanders saw the assault happening, so they chased Smiley, but he got away and stole her car.
Although she is still feeling the mental and physical pain from the attack, she says she forgives Smiley. And she says the experience won't stop her from going back to downtown.
"I will be a lot more cautious. I have been telling my story to people so that they can be cautious as well. I don't want this to happen to anyone, not even my worst enemy, because that's one of the most scariest... It's so hard to explain. You see it happen on the news and movies and things, but you never think that it will happen to you. But when it does, it does make you a lot more aware of your surroundings," says Walcott.
Walcott says that deputies were able to identify the attacker as Smiley because he dropped his cell phone during the assault.
1336 Augusta West Parkway
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