A brave jogger has described how she used self-defence moves to fight off a ‘sex attacker’ who allegedly tried to rape her in public toilets.
Kelly Herron, 36, says her “biggest running nightmare” became a horrifying reality on Sunday afternoon while she was training for a marathon.
She says she stopped to use a bathroom in a park in Washington state, US, when she was assaulted by a man who had been “hiding in a stall”.
The attacker reportedly knocked her to the ground and started hitting her knees and legs, leaving her fearing she was going to be raped.
Determined to escape, Kelly says she fought back, screaming: “Not today, motherf***er”, while punching and clawing at the man’s face.
After using self-defence moves she had learned in a class, she says she managed to lock him in the toilets until police arrived at the scene.
Kelly was left with a bruised body and bloodied face following the alleged incident, which occurred in Golden Gardens Park in Seattle.
But despite her injuries, she says her “spirit is intact”.
The courageous jogger took to Instagram to share her terrifying ordeal, which took place just three days before International Women’s Day.
She posted a picture of her face, caked in blood, as well as images of what appear to be the scene and of the path recorded by her GPS.
She wrote: “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 (that is my GPS in red lines).
“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-defence class offered at my work and utilised all of it.
“My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.”
Speaking to ABC News , Kelly said she was drying her hands in the public bathroom when she realised that something wasn’t right.
When she turned around, she said she saw a man standing in the room.
Moments later, he allegedly assaulted 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,” Kelly said.
The runner described how she managed to get up and escape into a toilet stall, where she desperately tried to kick the door lock shut with her foot.
However, she said she missed and ended up jamming the door.
Her attacker then allegedly walked into the stall and began to “beat” her.
After fighting back, Kelly said she used a carabiner – which a passerby had with them – to lock the man in the bathroom until police arrived.
Gary Steiner, from Arizona, was charged on Wednesday in relation to the alleged incident, The Seattle Times reports.
He remains in King County Jail on $750,000 bail on charges of attempted second-degree rape and second-degree assault with sexual motivation.
According to police, Steiner told officers two other women came into the bathroom while he was in there but he did not attack them.
However, when a third woman came in, he approached her from behind, it is alleged.
At one point, the suspect is accused of trying to pull down his victim’s leggings.
Police say Steiner told them he stopped attacking the woman when he noticed the blood on her. He will be arraigned on March 22.