Kelly Herron lived through every jogger’s worst nightmare: being attacked by a sex offender. She was training for a marathon in June. It was a Sunday afternoon in Golden Gardens Park when she stopped in the public wash room just 4 miles into her run. A man came up behind her and pushed her onto her knees, punching her in the head and trying to force her onto the ground – but her adrenaline kicked in and she fought back. She used all of her self-defense knowledge to punch, kick, scratch, and fight off the man who was intent on doing her harm.
At one point, she tried to barricade herself into a stall by kicking the door shut behind her. Unfortunately, the door jammed and the man crawled under the stall door to attack her again. He kept trying to flip her onto her stomach, but she just kept screaming and fighting back: “Not today, mother f***er!”
I was screaming it like an animal. It was the most vicious savage part of my being. There was no way I was going to let this guy rape me,” she recalls.
The man was repeatedly punching her in the head, and at one point, she thought she would pass out. A surge of adrenaline saved her as she was able to grab the bathroom door and get out. A nearby stranger helped her to lock the attacker in the bathroom until police arrived.
The attacker, Gary Steiner, was charged with attempted rape and assault…and looks even worse than his victim! His bail is set at $750,000.She wanted to share her story. Even though she lived through the nightmare of many women, she isn’t going to let it stop her from doing what she loves.
My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact,” she wrote on Instagram.
She is still training for that marathon in June.
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