So what is the best way to fend off a rapist? Here are a few examples of methods that worked.

On November 18, 1998, Adrian Rodricka Cathey broke into the apartment of a University of North Carolina-Charlotte co-ed. He woke the sleeping teen, and used a hunting knife to subdue her. But as he attempted to rape her, the unidentified woman reached into a nightstand, pulled out a pistol, and blasted Cathey dead. DNA tests revealed that he was the serial rapist who had stalked the campus for nearly a year, assaulting at least four students. Cathey had previously been charged with three counts of attempted murder during violent sexual assaults on young women. There\'s little doubt that the armed co-ed saved many women the trauma of being violated.

In the early morning of August 9, 2000, a panicked call came into the Pasco County, Florida Emergency Communications Center. The caller screamed, \"I just shot a man. A man was just in my house and tried raping me...\" When police arrived a few minutes later, they found Robert Metz lying dead with a bullet wound to his neck. He wore gloves and a mask, and still held a knife in his hand. Maria Pittaras, the owner of the home, stated that she awoke with the man on top of her. But as he held the knife to her throat and threatened to rape her, Pittaras pulled a pistol out of her nghtstand and shot him. Her father had recently given her the pistol for self-protection.

On November 18, 2000, seventy-two-year-old Jean Zamarripa of Colorado Springs heard a prowler at her back door. She grabbed a handgun and a telephone. As the homeowner dialed 911, the door suddenly crashed open, and an intruder entered the room. Zamarripa opened fire, hitting the invader with three shots and sending him fleeing. A severely wounded Anthony Allen Peralez was quickly apprehended. DNA tests revealed that he was the serial rapist who had recently been terrorizing elderly women in the city. In graphic court testimony, several victims spoke of the beatings they endured at the hands of the assailant, as well as the psychological, physical, and sexual torture he inflicted. Because Jean Zamarripa was armed, Peralez is currently serving four life sentences.

On July 21, 2001, an unidentified Nashville woman killed a man who attempted to rape her. The assailant entered the woman\'s house and tried to overpower her. The woman pulled out a handgun and shot him in the head.

In the early morning hours of January 1, 2002, Nathan Victor Melikidse broke into the home of an unidentified Boulder, Colorado couple. After tying them up, Melikidse went through the house looking for valuables. During his search, he found the couple\'s teenage daughter sleeping in her bedroom. As he brutally raped her, the girl\'s father freed himself and grabbed a shotgun. After calling 911, the homeowner confronted the assailant, handcuffing him until police arrived. Melikidse was charged with numerous crimes but investigators insisted that he was lucky the girl\'s father didn\'t kill him.

On the night of January 15, 2002, a Dallas resident captured a serial child molester. Fernandez A. Perez broke into the home of William Hazelwood and went straight to the bedroom of his sleeping 15-year-old daughter. The homeowner heard glass breaking, grabbed his handgun, and went to investigate. Hazelwood opened the door to his daughter\'s room and found Perez standing by the bed with his pants down. The homeowner then held him at gunpoint and called police. Outside the girl\'s window, investigators found photos of children and other \"trophies\" of a sexual predator. A 12-year-old girl who\'d been sexually molested in October, 2001, later identified Perez as her attacker. Police commended Hazelwood for his restraint in not killing the assailant.

In each of these cases, rapists or child molesters were killed, incapacitated, or captured by armed citizens. Dozens of future victims were likely spared the ordeal of violent sexual assault.