LORAIN — The first thing Kathleen Klinar did when she returned to her Amherst home Wednesday was take a shower to wash away the smell of her attacker.
Klinar, 35, was placing her 10-year-old daughter’s birthday cake in her car about 11 a.m. in the parking lot at Fligner’s Supermarket on Broadway in Lorain, when a drunken assailant grabbed her.
She said she smelled the overpowering stench of the man’s body odor, and decided she would not be a victim. Instead, Klinar fought back.
“I went to get in my car, and he decided he wanted to join me. He grabbed the top of the door and tried to pull me away,” she said. "From that point, I just reacted. He jumped in the car and I jumped on top of him.”
At least 20 or 30 people witnessed the attack, she said, including Santos Ramos, a new employee at Fligner’s.
Ramos and another man helped subdue the alleged attacker, identified by Lorain police as James Cusick, 49, of Avon Lake.
Klinar kept him wrapped in a bear hug, while her rescuers wrestled Cusick to the ground, she said.
Cusick was charged with two counts of robbery, a second-degree felony.
A pregnant woman and her three-year-old daughter told Klinar after the incident that Cusick had approached her, too.
A 73-year-old Lorain woman also said Cusick had accosted her outside Family Dollar on Broadway, Klinar said.
Friday, Klinar returned to Fligner’s to buy another cake for her family and to prove a point.
“I don’t want people to be afraid to go there,” she said.
Cusick won’t be heading back to the area anytime soon, however — he remains in the county jail.
Contact Jason Hawk at 653-6264 or chroniclet.com.