Share This Page

Carjacking leaves Wilkinsburg teacher bruised, angry

| Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 12:40 p.m.
Jasmine Goldband
Lois Clark, 61, of Monroeville, a music teacher at Kelly Elementary School in Wilkinsburg was hit with a stun gun and carjacked after getting out of her van on Monday morning on her way to school. Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review

Lois Clark is angry.

The Wilkinsburg School District music teacher said on Monday a man tried to attack her with a stun gun and stole her van as she was about to walk to Kelly Elementary School.

She is angrier, however, about the negative effect she said the incident will have on a district struggling with a reputation for low academic achievement, high student absenteeism and violence.

“It puts Wilkinsburg in a bad light, when it's one person who did this to me. It's not the school district; it's not Wilkinsburg,” said Clark, 61, of Monroeville.

Clark parked her van about a block away on McNair Street and was standing at the side door at about 7:45 a.m. when a man appeared, turned her around and pushed her, she said. He put a stun gun to her head and tried several times to shoot it. The weapon made crackling sounds as she jerked her head around to fight back but the stun gun did not fire, Clark said.

“I kept saying, ‘Take what you want. You can have anything you want; you can have it. Just leave me alone, please,' ” she said.

The attacker tried to pull a mask over his face, she said.

“He finally said, ‘I'm not going to hurt you, I'm not going to hurt you.' ”

When he told Clark to give him her keys, she complied. He got into her green 2004 Honda Odyssey and drove off, honking the horn, she said.

Clark went to UPMC Shadyside hospital for evaluation, police Lt. Michele Krempasky said.

She described the assailant as black, with a medium skin tone, in his mid-40s, about 6 feet tall and weighing 210 pounds. He wore a black, knit cap and dark jacket, police said.

Clark's van has a Pennsylvania license plate, ECG-8414, and Sunoco sticker on the rear lift door, police said. Wilkinsburg police asked anyone with information to call 412-244-2919.

“It's just an unfortunate incident. It's sad, but it's a sign of our times,” said schools Superintendent Archie D. Perrin Jr.

The area where the carjacking occurred was not school district property, but security guards will extend patrol perimeters at district schools, he said.

Wilkinsburg police intend to increase patrols, too, said Sgt. Wayne McKenith.

Perrin said the district would notify employees to be vigilant about safety.

Clark has taught music for 33 years, 14 of them in Wilkinsburg.

Though she had a few bruises on her head, she planned to report to work on Tuesday.

“I like what I do and I love my students and ... I still want to teach,” she said.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.