Slain New York City actress Nicole duFresne should not have taunted a robber with the words, “What are you going to do, shoot us?,” say crime prevention experts. “It demonstrates that confronting an attacker is probably the worst thing you can do,” said Todd Post of the National Crime Prevention Council, according to the Associated Press. DuFresne, 28, whose Internet resume listed “stage combat” as one of her skills, was leaving a bar with her fiance and another couple at about 3 a.m. Jan. 27 when they were accosted by youths who had tried to rob another person earlier in the evening. Police arrested the alleged triggerman, Rudy Fleming, 19, and two teenage girls they say took a cell phone and credit cards and helped hide the murder weapon.
In a tip sheet, the crime prevention council advises potential victims to stay cool and comply with robbers. At the same time, people should take mental notes on what the assailant looks like so they can provide a detailed description to police. A robbery “is more about power than anything,” said Alfonso E. Lenhardt, president of the council, known for its McGruff the Crime Dog mascot. “It’s a tragedy, but in this case it sounds like (the suspect) felt he wasn’t getting the respect he was due,” Lenhardt said. “When a gun is in the hands of a desperate person with low self-esteem, they’re going to react that way.” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly agrees: “If you’re in a situation when someone is pointing a weapon at you, I think it’s best to comply with the directions of that individual.”