Local Officers Teach Self-Defense

Practicing Safety
Staff Writer

Women of all ages gave up their Saturday to learn how to be better prepared to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault and domestic violence. The roughly 20 women met at the Moulton Gun Club on Bay Road to take a basic self-defense course from deputies from the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office and St. Marys Police Chief Jake Sutton.

Self-defense has been a passion for Sutton since he was attacked by a subject during a domestic violence call in 2008. Now he teaches women how to read non-verbal violence cues and, if it comes to it, how to escape the clutches of an attacker.

The morning was spent inside the club's building learning how to escape various grabs and chokes, as demonstrated by Sutton and Deputy Aaron Schulze. Participants partnered up and practiced the techniques under the watchful eye of Schulze and Sutton. Practicing what to do in a bad situation helps prepare people to either act or flee Sutton said.

After lunch, the afternoon portion of the class went outside and gave the participants a chance to learn about gun safety and how to properly handle and shoot a firearm. Retired Chief Deputy Mike Eberle gave a safety overview before turning the lesson over to Lt. Corey Zwiebel of the Wapakoneta Police Department and Sgt. Justin Chisholm from the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office.

While the self-defense and shooting class is offered twice per year, Sutton said he is willing to teach the self-defense portion to groups year-round.

The sheriff added that the main point was to keep people safe and in order to do that, multiple departments came together for the same effort.

Solomon thanked his deputies, Moulton Gun Club, Berlet Farm Services, the St. Marys Police Department and the Wapakoneta Police Department for coming together and making the class possible.

To set up a group self-defense class, call the St. Marys Police Department at 419-394-2325.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's print edition of The Evening Leader.