Hotel heroes save naked woman

A local couple is being praised after coming to the aid of a woman who they found naked and beaten. The attack is one of several new cases prompting APD to issue a safety reminder.

Early Thursday morning, in the parking lot of the University Inn, is where a woman, stripped of her clothing, and severely beaten came looking for help.  Kenneth Smith and Chris Rivera say the woman ran in front of their car as they were leaving.

"Basically I was more shocked than scared, running into here and seeing her like that,” said Smith.

The woman came from Motel 6, which is located next door. According to court documents, earlier that evening some friends introduced her to a man named Danial (Danny) Johnston, on Rainey Street. Investigators say after they got to the motel the friends left and she was beaten because she refused to have sex.  Her cheekbones and jaw were fractured. She may also lose her eyesight.

“It scared me so bad, how bad she was beaten up like that. I came in here got some towels and wrapped her up until the police came and the ambulance came, but it was a real shame,” said Rivera.

Danial Johnston, the suspect in the Motel 6 attack, left Austin before he could be charged, but has been arrested in Oklahoma.

The incident at University Inn is similar to recent attacks documented in these arrest warrants.  Both detail how young women, who went out with friends, eventually got separated.

In one case, a women was allegedly raped by an acquaintance in a parking garage after a night on 6th St. The other involved a woman who was allegedly attack by a stranger who offered her a ride home after meeting at a local bar.

"We don’t want anybody to be victimized, and we want people to know that it can happen to anybody at any time, from people that you don’t know, both strangers, and people that you do know,” said Senior Police Officer Surei Scanlon.

Excessive drinking is a common factor in the recent attacks.

"If you come out in groups, make sure you are in a Buddy System, and you promise one another you won’t leave each other alone, and that you are aware of your surroundings always,” said Scanlon.

Scanlon suggests a Night-Out Safety Plan should also include where to meet up - in case the group splits up. And also it’s advised to keep your cell phone close by, because if things do go bad, you can call 911.

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