Victim shares story of surviving brutal attack

Published On: Apr 15 2013 03:37:10 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 15 2013 10:34:28 AM EDT

A young woman says she survived a brutal attack by a sailor. MacKenzie Worthley, 24, says she was riding her skateboard when she was attacked, then sexually assaulted.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -

A young woman who says she survived a brutal attack by a sailor says she was riding her skateboard on North First Avenue early Friday morning when she was attacked, then sexually assaulted.

Edward Marshall-Byrd Jr., 21, was arrested on Friday and charged with the sexual battery of 24-year-old MacKenzie Worthley at 3:45 a.m.

Worthley tells Channel 4 that she had to fight for her life.

"I turned around, three seconds later I heard footsteps behind me, and I had been grabbed by the back of my head and pulled off my skateboard," Worthley said.

Worthley says she was riding her skateboard to her friend's house when a man approached her, asking for directions, and before she knew it, she said he started beating her and then assaulting her.

"I screamed for my life... for over 10 minutes," Worthley said. "It wasn't, 'Losing my voice' screams. It was deep diaphragm, 'Somebody come and save me right now,' screams," she says.

Worthley said a homeless man flagged down another man in a car to help. But she said when the homeless man got her attacker off, he fled.
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"So two to three more minutes I was not going to be alive for much longer because I was not going to shut up," Worthley said.

Worthley has bruises and scars on her face, knees and neck, plus four staples in her head. She said, despite what she went through, she feels blessed to be alive, and she hopes her story will inspire other victims to come forward. ?
 
"He didn't succeed and I'm coming out to tell people about it," Worthley said. "No one should ever be ashamed to come forward about something like this because they are doing injustice by keeping it to themselves."

Marshall-Byrd is charged with sexual battery with causing great bodily harm.  

Worthley said she's been able to thank the man who came to her aid. She wants to find the homeless man who flagged that person down. She credits both men for saving her life.

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