ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis woman feels like the judicial system failed her, after she said her teenage neighbor attacked her and walked away free.
Alicia Clarke said exactly a week ago she went for a quick run outside her south city home. When she came back, she noticed her shoes had been moved to a different spot and her cell phone was gone.
From there, she used Find My iPhone to search for it. The location said it was on her property grid. She used her work phone to call it.
"I open my back door to call it and I hear it in my neighbor's backyard behind me," Clarke said.
Clarke said she hopped the fence to get it and jumped back over to her yard. Another neighbor yelled out to her and said, "Hey, I told him, 'I know you did this and I’m calling the police!'"
Clarke said that's when the 6-foot teen jumped the fence and tackled her.
"He knocked me down, pulling my hair, kicking," she recalled.
Before he ran off, she said he grabbed her personal cell phone again. She used her work phone to call police.
"I am on the phone with St. Louis police dispatch, making my way to my backdoor, when he comes back with a weapon. He is on top of me. There was blood everywhere. I was literally fighting for my life at that point," she told 5 On Your Side.
Clarke said as he was on her back, he stabbed her in the head and face with a metal rod.
She was able to get the weapon out of his hand and ran inside. He ran away again, taking her second cell phone this time.
Police arrested the teen on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and third-degree assault.
Clarke thought the fight was over. But when she went to juvenile court a few days later, she learned his case was dismissed.
"The most hurtful thing of all of this, is the dropped charges. That was much more hurtful than the physical assault," Clarke said.
A juvenile court official said a staff attorney dropped the case before even going to the judge. The courts weren't able to comment specifically on this incident, since it involves a juvenile. Clarke said she was told her accused attacker was found incompetent to aid in his own defense because he has an IQ of 49.
A spokeswoman said in general, circumstances like these leave the court with few options when it comes to a criminal case.
"In those instances, we work with child guardian and agencies to help with services outside the court system," 5 On Your Side was told.
As for the victim, they said they offer victim services.
"It's not feeling safe and honestly feeling like I've been failed by the system," Clarke said.
She believes there needs to be a change.
"This is going to happen again, and that's my number one priority that it doesn't," she said.
Another neighbor who didn't want to go on camera said the teen has also broken into her home and believes he needs to be held accountable.
Clarke said the teen has broken into her car three times, but this has been the worst of it. She has a great support system, so she isn't forced to continue living where she said she was attacked.
But she wants to help others and send a message to the city that more needs to be done.
A Facebook post describing the attack has almost 8,000 shares and about 2,500 comments discussing the incident.
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