Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Jogger fights off sex offender who attacked her in a bathroom

seattle jogger attack run.JPG

Kelly Herron, 36 from Seattle, was four miles into a ten mile run through a busy park last Sunday when she stopped to use a public bathroom.

As she was drying her hands she “became aware that something was wrong” and turned around to see a man, who had been hiding in one of the toilet stalls, standing behind her.

“He immediately took me down to the ground, hit both my knees and legs, and then it was a fight on the bathroom floor and I just kept screaming, 'not today m***** f*****,’” she told ABC News.

As she was beginning to lose consciousness, she decided that “this doesn’t have to be a fair fight” and began fighting back.

“All those little things that I learned in my life… how to punch and everything came back to me,” she said. “I learned [to aim for] hard bones and soft fleshy places so I just started hitting the side of his head."

Sharing a photo of her bruised and bloodied face on Instagram (below) she wrote, “I fought for my life… clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip - never giving up.”

Herron said that she was able to eventually escape from the attacker and trap him in the bathroom with the help of a passerby until the police arrived.

“Thankfully I just took a self-defence class offered at my work and utilised all of it,” she wrote. “My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.”

Read more: Meet the brave woman who fought off a sex attacker with her keys 

Sharing another photo of herself following the attack, this time to illustrate the bruising she received to her arms, she added, “I couldn't remain the silent, anonymous victim – there is a message of survival that is too important to remain untold.”

The police report of the incident names the attacker as Gary Steiner, a 40-year-old registered sex offender in Arizona, who is currently being held in prison with a bail of $750,000 (approximately £614, 250).

ABC reports that he is facing charges of both attempted rape in the second degree and second degree assault.

Read more: Outcry over lenient sentence for US student who raped an unconscious woman

Herron later shared an image of Steiner on her Instagram page along with the words “not today m****** f*****” which, she said, became her “battle cry” when he was assaulting her.

Herron said she feels empowered, rather than afraid, following the incident and is still training to take part in the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon, which takes place later this summer.

Images: Instagram



A rape survivor shares her views on Paul Verhoeven’s Elle


Brie Larson opens up about Casey Affleck’s controversial Oscars win


“Shocking” level of sexual harassment claims in UK universities


The second series of Victoria has an important mental health storyline

The ITV show is tackling issues as relevant now as ever

by Amy Swales
23 Aug 2017

Woman ghosted by her ex gets ultimate revenge by becoming his boss

Revenge is sweet

by Megan Murray
23 Aug 2017

Former Lioness says women’s football has a toxic culture of bullying

Ex-England player Eni Aluko has spoken out about her time on the team.

by Moya Crockett
23 Aug 2017

Thought-provoking illustrations reveal hidden secrets of strangers

The artist was met with “unexpected confessions”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

The most annoying Tube habits, as ranked by irritated Londoners

“Could you move down, please?”

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

These are the main reasons relationships end, according to a new study

...and the reasons couples stay together

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017

The new Great British Bake Off might be OK after all

The first episode has not bombed, we repeat: it has not bombed

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

Woman claims she was fired for leaking during a heavy period at work

“Every woman dreads getting period symptoms when they're not expecting them, but I never thought I could be fired for it.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

Women football fans forced to show bras while being searched at match

Add this to your list of ‘things that are definitely not OK’

by Moya Crockett
22 Aug 2017

This prosecco advent calendar will have you waving goodbye to summer

We're suddenly very excited about Christmas

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017