A Seattle woman was out jogging when a man snuck up behind her and attacked her. What happened next left the man stunned.
Kelly Herron stopped to use a park restroom while jogging, when Gary Steiner, 40, allegedly came up behind her while she was drying her hands and attacked. Steiner, a homeless registered sex offender, reportedly grabbed Herron, threw her to the ground, and repeatedly punched her in the face before attempting to rape her.
Unfortunately for Steiner, Herron had taken a self-defense class three weeks earlier. She said she used tactics learned in the class to fight off Steiner.
My biggest running nightmare became reality — 4 miles into my long run Sunday afternoon, I stopped to use the restroom and was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall,” Herron wrote in an Instagram post. “I fought for my life screaming(“Not today, M**F**er!”), clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip- never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived. Thankfully I just took a self-defense class offered at my work and used all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.”
Steiner was charged with attempted second-degree rape and second-degree assault with sexual motivation, reports the Daily Mail. He confessed to police that while he was waiting inside the bathroom, two other women entered, but he chose not to attack them.
“The defendant represents a severe danger to the community,” the police report says. “His predatory attack on a female in the middle of the day represents a brazen willingness to assault without concern for getting caught.”
I’m really grateful I survived,” Herron said. “I was screaming at him … being loud and not afraid. I mean you are afraid, but letting him know you are not taking me down today. You are not going to win this fight.”
Steiner was previously convicted in Arizona for sexually assaulting several women in 1999 and for indecent exposure in 2008, as well as criminal mischief with a deadly weapon in Clark County, Washington, in 2015.
Readers shared their thoughts on the story on Facebook.
“Registered offender and yet he walks freely,” one reader commented. “These laws should be enforced with stricter penalties like castrations as one.”
“Ladies who go out in public to just take a walk need to take some kind of protection with them,” another user wrote. “Some thing that is legal but can be used to defend yourself. A big stick, a metal bar, pepper spray, anything you can carry and have ready. The men in this country need to learn a lesson and we can give it to them.”