Emelia Holden, a 21-year-old waitress, made headlines when she threw a customer to the ground after he touched her behind. Holden, who works at Vinnie Van Go-in Go’s in Savannah, Georgia, revealed that she “didn’t even realize she could do that.” When Ryan Cherwinski groped her, Holden held his hand and threw him to the ground. Initially, she assumed it was a friend grabbing her as a joke, but when she felt the hand extended further than it should have, she realized it was a stranger. Holden firmly believes that no one has the right to belittle or harass anyone, and she wants to inspire others to stand up for themselves.
Cherwinski, who is a dad of two children and has been in a relationship for 11 years, was at the restaurant with his partner Erica Martin when the incident occurred. When the police arrived, Cherwinski claimed that he was merely trying to push Holden out of the way so he could pass. However, the police arrested him after reviewing the security footage recorded inside the eatery. Cherwinski is currently being prosecuted on criminal charges.
Holden, who has used her newfound celebrity to raise funds for animal shelters, has opened a GoFundMe page and has reached $7,250 of her $5,000 target in less than 24 hours. She expressed that she wants to use this opportunity to give back to something important to her, cats. The Savannah Police Department confirmed that the video of the incident circulating online is the same one that officers used to capture Cherwinski. Holden hopes that her story will encourage others to speak out against harassment and assault and to stand up for themselves and others who may not have a voice.