01/20/2014 12:36 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Katherine Newman, Ontario Mother, Attacked During Disneyland Trip


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.

"I was hitting him with the side of my hand. I just kept pounding and pounding and shoving him back and yelling him to 'get out, get out,'" she said.

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.

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