A Canadian woman is recovering at her home in Brampton, Ont. after she and her friend were attacked during their trip to Disneyland last week.
Katherine Newman and her friend Crystal Wiley headed back to the Alamo Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. after spending last Thursday at the theme park. They were returning to their room when a stranger pretending to open the suite next door forced his way inside.
That's when Newman started fighting back, punching the man and yelling at him to leave, she told CTV News.
During the struggle, Newman said she was hit in the back of the head with what she believes was with a knife. Despite her first injury, Newman did not relent, saving Wiley in the process from being dragged out of the room.
"I think at this point he's trying to eliminate me to grab her, and I just lunged forward and I said, 'No Crystal,' and grabbed her and just kept pounding and he came down with a knife," said Newman, sustaining cuts to her arms in the process.
The fight attracted the attention of nearby motel guests who called police. But by the time local law enforcement arrived, the man had ran off. Both women were then taken to the hospital for their injuries. Newman received staples for two large wounds to her head as well as her arm while Wiley was treated for a cut to her face with stitches, according to the Star.
Due to her injuries, Newman was unable to participate in the "Disney Tinker Bell Run", the reason why she was visiting the theme park. Newman's 16-year-old son is autistic and she was part of a team, Autism Speaks, that had raised more than $2,000 and spent over two years in training for the race, according to the Star.
After hearing about Newman's harrowing experience, Disney officials gave both women a free stay at one of the park's resorts, as well as a private escort and race medals. They'll also be exempted from having to requalify for next year's race in Florida.
Meanwhile, Anaheim police have made an arrest in connection with the attack, one of five incidents during a violent crime spree in the area.
Ulises Delatorre, 32, was arrested in a nearby neighbourhood after he was caught on surveillance video, ABC News reports, adding that Delatorre was on parole after serving several years in prison for attempted murder.
Earlier on HuffPost:
The case of the hidden Mickeys
The iconic round-eared shape of Mickey Mouse’s face is easy to spot at Disneyland, but you might be surprised to discover that you’re only noticing a handful of the Mickeys throughout the park. Hidden Mickeys are cleverly disguised everywhere; from traffic signs to decorations to fire alarms, Mickeys can be found anywhere and everywhere -- so tap into your curious side and keep your eyes peeled. In fact, there are so many Mickeys hidden in the intricate details of the park that nobody knows exactly how many exist.
Trading Disney pins
Let your social side reign and become part of the <a href="http://disney.go.com/eventservices/whatispintrading.html" target="_hplink">pin collecting tradition</a> at Disneyland. Cast members throughout the parks carry a collection of fun and vibrant pins on them, so don’t be afraid to walk up to one and ask if you can swap them for one in your personal collection. Find your favourite pins and take them home for a cool souvenir.
Enjoy fine dining
Theme parks are synonymous with junk food, but visitors to Disneyland can indulge their exclusive side by visiting one of the many fine restaurants in the park. Blue Bayou, Napa Rose, Steakhouse 55 and Wine Country Trattoria all offer the chance to sit down and enjoy a fine meal. A word of caution: Some restaurants -- Blue Bayou especially -- are so popular that you may need a reservation so plan ahead.
Take a trip through time
Give in to your nostalgic side by visiting Main Street USA, which was modelled after the year 1910. What’s that in the air? The scent of vanilla is pumped into Main Street to remind you of freshly-baked goods. Afterwards, head over to Tomorrowland, which was designed to look like the year 1986. Not coincidentally, these two years were the same years that the elusive Halley’s Comet made an appearance in our solar system; that’s a little factoid that’s sure to please your nerdy side.
Rock the boat
Channel your inner captain side by asking to become take the steering wheel of the Mark Twain Riverboat. You can take the boat on a short cruise, beep the horn to your heart’s delight and earn a certificate in recognition of a job well done at the end.
Ride the spinny teacup
Let your playful side loose by nabbing the purple teacup on the Mad Hatter’s teacup ride; rumour has it that it’s the spinniest of them all. But to be safe, you might want to wait until after your lunch settles to test this out.
Pay your respects
After a day full of fun memories, be sure to pay homage to Disney’s founding father, Walt Disney, and express your thankful side by visiting two sites that commemorate his work in creating the Disney empire. The Griffin Park Bench on Main Street is the actual bench that Mr. Disney was sitting on when he came up with the idea for the amusement park while watching his young daughters play. Not far from that spot is the Main Street Fire House, where the Disney family kept an apartment on the second floor. To this day, the light in the apartment has never gone out to ensure that Mr. Disney’s presence is always felt in the park.