Samantha Mendez saw the teenage attacker in the rearview mirror of her car at Veranda at Centerfield apartments. As she walked up to her third-floor apartment, she says she saw him standing there again.
Mendez confronted him and asked if he lived there, and he said he was waiting for a friend.
"I took a couple steps forward and was about to open my door -- had my keys in my hand -- and that's when he put his hand over my mouth. He bent me over...he tried to knock me out on the metal rail," said Mendez.
As she fought back, she said she screamed and bit his hand hard enough to scare the attacker off.
"He didn't go for my purse. His intentions and motives were very planned, especially when he tried to hit my head on the metal rail," Mendez said. "I think he was trying to assault me in a very inappropriate manner of course.
Neighbor Kimberly Jernigan was at the pool with a friend and heard Samantha screaming.
"She came down the stairs, was running, she was upset. She was crying and saying, 'Someone call police. I've just been attacked,'" Jernigan said.
Management and police are looking at surveillance video to see if the attacker was captured on camera.
Mendez feels fortunate she's here to tell her story.
"I have a daughter. I just wanted to spread awareness because I know school is starting and kids will be walking from the bus to their apartment to their houses. I'm thankful I lived through this, I'm thankful he didn't have a weapon and I'm thankful it clicked to fight back," she said.
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