Man Wears 'I Beat Women' Sign at Intersection To Avoid Assault Charges
After 20-year-old Alisha Hessler was allegedly physically assaulted in Florida by a man named Gabriel Urena, she gave her perpetrator an unusual option: if he wore a sign that said, "I beat women. Honk if I am a scumbag" at a major intersection in Tampa for eight hours, she wouldn't press charges. “I didn’t want him to be locked up for a year,” Hessler told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I honestly don’t think that would teach him anything.”
Hessler says she met Urena on December 14 when her two male friends brought him along clubbing. On the way home from the night out, he allegedly tried to reach up her skirt. When she then said "no" and tried to push him away, he apparently wouldn't stop until she slapped him.
"That's when he started beating me repeatedly until I had a broken nose and a concussion," Hessler told WFTS.
Hessler went to the hospital the following day after the detective told her she needed a doctor's diagnosis in order to file a felony battery charge. And even though Hessler initially filed a police report following the incident, she later came up with this alternative punishment — and reached out to Urena on Facebook to see if he would be willing to oblige. (Um, talk about an awkward Facebook message.)
Not everyone thinks this punishment is clever. Kristen Paruginog, who runs Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence, told the Huffington Post that it’s better for victims of physical assault to press charges than to engage in vigilante punishments like these.
"This is childish and immature and it's not effective," Paruginog said. "I don't know if it would stop him."
Hessler may also be having second thoughts. “I feel that it's not enough honestly. There was one more thing I wanted to do, but I didn't because I was afraid it was too risky."
The “one more thing” Hessler is referring to is having Urena sign a waiver that would permit her to beat him for 10 minutes. Really.
Photo via ABC News