A Patriots lineman became a hero recently during a walk in the park that was anything but leisurely.
New England's Justin Herron was out enjoying a beautiful Arizona day in a local park with Phoenix resident Murry Rogers when they heard a woman's scream and rushed to help. Herron found a 71-year-old woman allegedly being attacked from behind by a 30-year-old man in an attempted sexual assault.
Herron ran over, shouting to draw attention before separating the alleged attacker from the victim and, with the help of Rogers, restraining the attacker until police arrived to arrest him.
Herron and Rogers were honored by the Tempe Police Department in a Wednesday press conference, in which the authorities were able to give an update on the victim's condition. Herron said he never expected to find himself in such a situation, but knew he had to act.
"t was something that I never dreamed or I thought I would see, you know. You see it in movies and TV all the time, but you never think it's going to happen in real life until it does," Herron said, via the Patriots’ official website. "In that moment, I was shocked. It was 11 a.m. It was in the middle of the day, not one cloud in the sky and in a very open field. It was just the fact that it had happened there at that time was just very, very shocking."
Herron was able to meet with the victim Saturday after rescuing her from danger, a chance he thought he'd never get after ensuring her safety following apprehension of the attacker.
"I never thought in a thousand years that I would see her ever again, and a part of me was a little bit upset that didn't ask for a name just so I could just know the name," Herron said. "It was heartwarming to see her, but also gut-wrenching to see how she responded to the trauma and how she's dealing with it. No one should go through that. No one. She has a great support system, and I'm glad that she has that support system. It was emotional for me. It was emotional for everybody in the room to see her."
While the case is ongoing, Herron is just glad the woman is OK, and avoided a much worse fate.
"I never thought this would happen. I don't want it to happen again," Herron said. "I don't want to have to save someone else's life again, but I'm glad that I was able to save someone like on Saturday."