Patriots offensive lineman Justin Herron is being lauded as a hero for the role he played in stopping an attempted sexual assault in Arizona over the weekend. Herron was at a park in Tempe on March 20 when a 30-year-old man was seen trying to take advantage of a 71-year-old woman.
According to police, the man had knocked the woman to the ground and was attempting to remove her pants. Herron, who was working out at the park, heard some screaming and knew he had to do something.
"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 12news.com. "At that moment, I was in shock. It was 11 a.m., middle of the day, in a very open field and the fact that it happened there at that time was just very shocking. I wish I could tell you what I was thinking, but I could just tell someone needed help. All I could do was rush myself over there to make sure I could help the victim and I could comfort her and be the best person I can be."
Herron was one of two men who intervened. The other Good Samaritan was identified as Murry Rogers. With Herron being the much larger man -- the offensive lineman is listed at 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds -- he ended up holding the suspect down until police arrived.
"I'm a football player, so I'm kind of big. I try not to be too aggressive with people knowing I could potentially hurt somebody," Herron said. "I do have a loud voice. I yelled, told him to get off of her and then yanked him off and I told him to sit down and I told him to wait until the cops come."
The 25-year-old, who started six of the 12 games he played in last season as a rookie, said that he helped the woman because that's what he had always been taught to do.
"My parents always talked to me about it, 'If there's someone in need, make sure you can help them and be the best you can be,'" Herron said. "If someone needs your help, go help them. I never thought this would happen, and I don't want it to happen again."
The Tempe Police Department held a press conference on Wednesday where they honored both Herron and Rogers with Outstanding Service Awards.
The suspect in the crime, Kevin Caballero, was arrested on suspicion of attacking and attempting to sexually assault a woman.