A Forest Park merchant who was mugged outside of her Oak Park home last week told the Forest Park Review she wanted to speak out against the “brazen” attack. What’s more, she wants the perpetrator to know that she didn’t go down without a fight.

“I’m not going to put up with that stuff,” said Lisa Dodge, the incensed victim.

Dodge, the owner of American Artworks Gallery, 7314 Madison St., was paying her cab fare on the night of April 4, when she glanced out the car’s window and saw a man in a black hat and a light-blue fleece jacket walking into the courtyard of her condominium building on the 200 block of Oak Park Avenue. She thought nothing of him, as he appeared to know where he was going, and it didn’t look like he was dawdling.Ê

Dodge was exhausted from a trip, and as she exited the vehicle and made her way to her building, slumber was foremost on her mind.

“I wanted to go home; I was tired,” she said.

Before she reached the building, her attacker made his move, coming from her left side.

“All I want is your money,” he said.

“I told him, ‘No way, I’m not giving you anything. I’m tired and I’m going inside,'” said Dodge, adding that she gave her remaining dollars to the cabbie.

“I wasn’t scared at all,” she said.

According to Dodge, she then strode past the man, ignoring his demand. That’s when he struck.

While her back was turned, the man knocked her down, and began choking her from the rear, in an attempt to wrestle her purse free from her grip.

Dodge said she fought back and started yelling “Fire!” repeatedly in an attempt to scare him away, but also to recruit some help.

“One of the neighbors in my building came out and said, ‘Get off her!’ Dodge said.

The mugger finally managed to rip Dodge’s purse from her, at which point he fled southbound on Oak Park Avenue. But Dodge wasn’t through yet.

“I started running after him on the sidewalk while I was calling 911 … to see where he went,” she said. “The police were literally there within 15 to 20 seconds.”

Her attacker eluded arrest that night. Though Oak Park police are investigating the matter, there are currently “no additional developments,” according to Detective Commander LaDon Reynolds.

Dodge went into the police station on Sunday to describe the attacker to a composite sketch artist, but the rendering was not released at press time.

She said she hopes the attack on her will prompt others to realize that such brazen acts can happen anywhere. What’s more, she thinks that incidents like these can be avoided if neighbors build a strong community by getting to know each other.

“I think we’re a little lackadaisical about security. The important thing is to try to take back our neighborhood. If people are out late at night, make them an offer to walk them home or to drive them,” Dodge said. “It applies everywhere.”