During violent attack, woman thinks to get evidence

During violent attack, woman thinks to get evidence »Play Video
Thomas Davis.

ALOHA, Ore. – When Michelle was attacked by a man while jogging last December and was thrown to the ground, in the midst of screaming and hitting her attacker, she thought of something:

She shoved her gloved fingers into her attacker's mouth, because she said she hoped to get DNA evidence that might identify him no matter what happened.

"That morning, when the forensic guy came to take photos of me, I had told him, 'Here's my glove. I got his saliva, you might find something.' And thankfully, that's exactly what happened." 

That evidence led police to the arrest of 46-year-old Thomas Davis.

Davis has a 2009 kidnapping conviction. DNA evidence from that case linked him to the attack on Michelle, who didn't want to be fully identified for this story.

Sgt. Karlyn Degman, a defensive tactics instructor for the Washington County Sheriff's Office, doesn't recommend trying to collect evidence like Michelle did. But she does say Michelle's plan to do something was right. Without a plan, people freeze up.

"We have our students do this: What is your most terrifying scenario? And let's start there. Let's solve it for you. And let's give you some basic techniques to solve it," Degman said.

An unrelated investigation led Beaverton police to suspect Davis as the person who was randomly leaving threatening notes on women's vehicles.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office believes Davis attacked other women and so does Michelle.

She asking anyone else who believes Davis attacked them to come forward because she says he's a monster who needs to go to prison for as long as possible. Davis is currently in the Washington County Jail.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office opens registration for its August self-defense class next month.