Former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Huntly Collins was attacked by two assailants last Tuesday evening near her home on the 100 block of West Durham St. in Mt. Airy.
Around 6:45pm Collins, who is now an assistant professor of communications at LaSalle University, was heading home from her daily swim class at Fit Life Fitness and Aquatics located on Germantown Ave when two assailants ran up behind her and repeatedly beat her on the head and back.
Collins said she felt a tremendous crush on her back, and after a few seconds once she realized what was going on she screamed for help, which prompted the attackers to run away.
Neighbors rushed outside to assist and called the police. One neighbor said she noticed Collins walking past and then noticed two people running behind her and it didn’t seem right.
Police arrived on the scene within 15 minutes
After the attack
Collins said the incident has instilled fear in her and some neighbors. “I’ve never been afraid in Mt. Airy before,” said Collins. “They weren’t out to rob me they were out to attack me.”
Collins also said she now calls a family member to meet her while walking home for extra precaution.
In light of this incident, members of the Mt. Airy-Nippon-Bryan-Cresheim Town watch agreed to beef up the town watch and monitor their surroundings more than usual. “Please be extra cautious of your surroundings especially at night,” said Celeste Zappala.
The group will be holding a meeting this Thursday night to discuss plans on tightening up patrol in the area.
Collins said she plans to initiate a petition to the 14th District to add more police cars to the area.
Moving forward, Collins said she will use her vehicle more frequently regardless of distance. She is still a bit shaken up but manages to continue her daily routines.
Collins ended up with bruises on the back, neck, and head. The La Salle University professor was back in the classroom the next day and says she is glad she is okay and thankful for the support from her neighbors.
No arrests have been made.
Collins’ journalism class at La Salle, via Germantown Beat, is a Newsworks content partner.
Editor’s note: Revised 3/5/12 – An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed to Police Officer Morgan a statement about police response times that he did not make. NewsWorks regrets the error.