A woman who was beaten and sexually assaulted in Jacksonville Beach says she feels like she “shouldn’t have made it.”
MacKenzie Worthley was attacked early Friday morning on First Street after leaving a concert at Freebird Live.
“I frequent this area every single day of my life,” Worthley tells our partner Action News.
She says she used to feel safe in her community, but now she wants people to know about her attack because she’s realized it can happen to anyone.
“People should know I’m not just some person from out-of-town. People should know that this can just happen to anyone.”
Police say she was attacked by Edward Marshall-Byrd, a 21 year-old sailor who was stationed at Mayport.
“I hear footsteps behind me and he grabs me by the back of my head and pulls me off my skateboard,” Worthley says. “He had his hand over my mouth, that’s where all the scratches come from. He was banging my head into the concrete trying to knock me out because I would not stop screaming.”
She says a witness, Alfred Gainer, was her saving grace. He heard her screaming for her and called police.
“I’m really grateful he was in the right place at the right time,” Worthley says.
Byrd was arrested about a block from where the incident happened. He was denied bond on Saturday and is expected to make his first court appearance on May 6th.