Carjacking leaves Wilkinsburg teacher bruised, angry
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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