Twenty-one-year-old, 115 pound, Emelia Patricia Holden didn’t know she had it in her.
She was waiting tables on June 30, a Saturday night, at Vinnie Van GoGo’s pizzeria restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. At approximately 11pm, as she was at her workstation entering an order for a table of customers, she was ‘handled’ from ‘behind’ in an unwelcome manner by another customer as he walked by her.
Emelia was not about to let that invasion of personal space ‘slide’. In a moment of poetic justice that will live forever on the Internet, she reflexively turned and grabbed him by the collar of his t-shirt, put her other arm around his neck and took him down like a rodeo cowgirl would take down an unsuspecting steer. The petite waitress then proceeded to publicly berate him in loud, if not civil, language.
Three different reports describe three slightly different versions of the event. (Funny how people can watch the same video and interpret it differently, never mind eyewitnesses of a crime).
WSAV reported that Holden pushed “him into a chair”.
Savannah Now said that she “slammed him into a nearby wall”.
Heavy.com wrote that she threw him “to the ground”.
Here’s the video, decide for yourself:
Afterwards, speaking to WSFA, Holden remarked, “I didn’t know I could do that. I guess I just had the right stance for it and I did it.” By stance, she must have meant attitude because she had a lot of it.
Ryan Cherwinski, 31 years old, from Palm Bay, Florida, was arrested. The charge is sexual battery. He tried to tell police that it was an “accident”, but after the officers reviewed the surveillance camera video (the very same you just watched, above) they weren’t buying it. He spent two nights in jail before he made bail.
Was Cherwinski enjoying a night out with his bros? Nope. Being the classy gent that he is, Cherwinski had been at the pizzeria with his girlfriend of 11 years and their two young daughters when he assaulted Holden. (Did we mention that it was at 11pm? At night? With his young children?) Curiously, his girlfriend did not immediately bail him out. Maybe this was a learning opportunity for her. Let’s hope so.
Interviewed by The Daily Mail, Holden said, “All that I want from my experiences is for women to know that it’s okay to stand up for yourself. You have every right to wear what you want and you most certainly have every right to defend yourself.”
Happily, Holden’s boss told her that he was proud of her. Often, employees who defend themselves are fired but not here. Not this time. Kudos to the boss!
Animal lovers will appreciate this: Holden posted on her Facebook page that she wants to use her fifteen minutes of fame to raise money to fund shelters for cats. To that end, she’s created a GoFundMe account. What a smart, tough, and caring woman!
There are two key lessons to learn from this story. (1) Keep your hands to yourself. You never can tell who will make you wish you had. (2) Everyone can do things they didn’t know they could.
Question of the night: Have you ever done something reflexively that you didn’t know you could or would do?