Woman hit by truck, attacked with hammer shares story

 A pickup truck struck a female jogger Friday morning.

The Polk County Sheriff's office said that driver then attacked the woman with a hammer and tried to choke her.  

The woman fought back, and spoke about her bizarre encounter.

The attack happened on the side of Old Lake Wilson Road.   

Sheriff Grady Judd said a hit-and-run driver attacked the female jogger with a hammer and tried to choke her.  

That woman and her husband told Fox 35 News how she fought back.
 
"Oh mi cabeza," Maria Infante said in Spanish, talking about her injuries from Friday morning's attack.  

She has a broken leg, a sore head and a bunch of scratches on her back.

Her husband Fernando Caraballo translated into English for her.  

Maria was jogging when she was struck from behind.

Caraballo told us, "She went down face first on the floor. She turns up and thinks, 'What happened?'"

Maria quickly realized a pickup truck hit her. She said the driver got out and looked at her, then walked back to the truck.  

Investigators said he got a hammer and tried to strike her in the head with it.

Maria's husband explained, "She grabbed his hands and the hammer too so she can stop him for hitting her in the head."

Polk County Sheriff's deputies arrested 58-year-old Frederick Whitten and took him to the county jail.   

Judd said after Whitten struck Infante with his truck, he dragged her into taller grass, hit her with the hammer and then tried to choke her.  

Judd said Whitten told detectives what motivated him.

"He told investigators his entire reason, 'I was gonna take her out because I didn't want to be in trouble for hit and run,'" Judd said.

Whitten went before a judge Friday afternoon.  He is charged with second-degree attempted murder, and kidnapping and inflicting bodily harm.

Infante said she thought about her two children back in Colombia during the attack, so she fought back hard to save herself.

"She saw his face and she thought, ‘This man is crazy.' She thought that before when he came out with a hammer," Caraballo said.

Sheriff Judd said a driver pulled over and helped Infante during her time of need, but then he drove away.    

Investigators want to talk to that witness to learn what he saw and heard.

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