Emelia Holden, a 21-year-old college student and waitress, is winning praise on social media after video surfaced showing her forcefully defending herself against a man who groped her. T
he incident occurred when Holden was at work at Vinnie VanGo-Go’s, a pizzeria in Savannah, Georgia, and the story went viral this week on Reddit.
Video from the restaurant shows a man reach out and grab the backside of a female server as he walks past her. She quickly lunges after him, grabs hold of the back of his shirt and slams him into a wall. He tumbles to the ground and appears to sit there stunned as she gives him a piece of her mind. Holden told CBS affiliate WTOC how the incident unfolded..
“I took someone’s order and I was getting ready to set them up and then I just felt it,” she said. “I was like, ‘nope, that’s not going to happen’ and turned around and took the guy down.”
She seemed a little surprised by her own strength. “I’m 115 pounds. I didn’t know I could do that,” she laughed. “I guess I just had the right stance for it and I did it.”
Savannah police charged 31-year-old Ryan Cherwinski of Palm Bay, Florida, with a misdemeanor count of sexual battery. According to the police report obtained by WTOC, Cherwinski said
“it was an accident that he grabbed the waitress [and] that he was only trying to inform her that to move because she was in the way.”
But Holden doesn’t buy that excuse.
“To see them put him in handcuffs, it was nice,” Holden said in an interview with Inside Edition on Thursday.