Lake Hodges Attack Victim Speaks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The victim in a December attack near Lake Hodges described the moment she was jumped while running on the trails around the lake.

    While Candice Moncayo never told CNN’s Larry King that the man who attacked her was John Gardner, she did say she would testify against the man accused of murder in the death of 17-year old Poway teenager Chelsea King and charged with assaulting her Dec. 27 at Rancho Bernardo Community Park..

    Lake Hodges Attack Victim Speaks

    [DGO] Lake Hodges Attack Victim Speaks
    Candice Moncayo says she would testify against the man accused of murder in the death of 17-year old Poway teenager Chelsea King (Published Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010)

    Moncayo was home for Christmas break and was just about to finish a run around Lake Hodges around 10:30 a.m. when she was attacked.

    The University of Colorado student said she screamed “like crazy” – at the top of her lungs.

    “It was a beautiful day. I was passing people the entire time. And I was coming up to the end of the trail and was in sight of the houses. And I noticed a man who was walking toward me. And he was -- I noticed him because he was not dressed in workout clothes. But it was so close to the houses that I just assumed that he, you know, was a resident going for a walk, because the day was so beautiful. And he waited until we were next to each other and then tackled me and threw me to the side of the trail,” she said.

    “He threw me down on to the ground and he pinned me to the ground. And like I said, I was screaming. And he said, "Shut up." And I said, "No!" And he said -- he told me to shut up again. And I said, "No!" And then I said, "Well, you're going to have to kill me first," because I thought that he was trying to rape me. And he said, ‘That can be arranged,’ she said.

    “And there was this small moment of silence. And then there was intervening conversation that I'm not comfortable discussing. And at one point, he picked me up by my shoulders and he started shaking me, the way you're not supposed to shake a child. And I managed to get one hand on the ground, my left hand. And I took my right elbow and I -- I bashed him in the nose. And he grabbed his face and turned away from me and yelled some things. And I got up and I ran faster than I think I've ever run in my life.”

    The experience has left a deep mark on Moncayo. “ It's something I think I'll be dealing with for the rest of my life,” she said.

    A recent run was interrupted when she had to pass a male hiker on the trails. “So I had to come close to him. And, you know, I burst into tears and, I think, ruined his run. So I'm ashamed about that a bit,” she said.

    Moncayo said she will testify against Gardner. John Albert Gardner III pleaded not guilty to charges in Chelsea King’s disappearance and death.

    Kelly and Brent King followed Moncayo on the cable program and told the host that listening to the woman’s account of the attack was very painful.

    “To hear, you know, what a victim has to go through when they're attacked like this, it's extremely difficult. And even, it's just multiplied a thousand times when it's your own daughter that's been through it, as well,” said Kelly King.

    Brent King said he would be there for every moment of Gardner's trial.