One man was arrested Sunday and is being held without bail after sexually assaulting a female jogger, who was about to fight him off and help police track him down.
The Bridgewater, Massachusetts incident was caught on surveillance tape that shows the 57-year-old man running out of his car in an attempt to accost the jogger, 37.
Upon his arrest, Gordon Lyons was charged with kidnapping, indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or older, and assault and battery, CBS Boston reports.
In the surveillance footage, which you can watch above, the woman can be seen jogging down the street around 7:35 a.m. on Sunday. Suddenly, a car stops after passing her and a man, who police believe to be Lyons, climbs out of the driver's seat and chases the jogger into some nearby bushes.
After a few seconds, the victim fights off her attacker and was able to break free.
"The woman was able to scream and fight with Lyons, causing both of them to fall to the ground. Lyons then got up and ran back to his vehicle and fled the area," police said in a statement.
Lyons, who CBS Boston reports was previously convicted of rape in 1978, then runs back to his vehicle, limping slightly, and speeds away. In the process, he loses control of the SUV and drives onto a sidewalk on the left side of the road before continuing.
A passing driver who witnessed the attack sped after Lyons as he fled the scene. Lyons crashed a short distance away in West Bridgewater, with police arresting him on scene.
The jogger appeared in silhouette form to hide her face during an appearance on Good Morning America on Wednesday. "I kept thinking this wasn't happening. Even as he ran out of the car, I thought maybe he is having a medical emergency. But when he ran straight for me, I thought, 'OK, this is happening.'"
She added that once she realized what was going on, she knew he was not going to let her attacker win.
"It was kind of a moment of fear and this, 'I'm not going to let this happen. This is not how my story ends,'" she said.
"I just knew that I needed to do whatever I needed to in order to be OK," she told the Brockton Enterprise. "I knew I needed to defend myself and be smart. I knew I needed to do something so this person wouldn't just walk away."
The jogger even thought to snap a photo of Lyon's car as he sped away, which police were able to use to track down and identify him.
During the attack, an elderly neighbor came over to the scene to help. Donald Prohovich, 85, told Boston 25 News that he asked, "Hey, what's going on?"
The jogger said she is intensely "grateful" to the neighbor who "probably didn't know what he was going to do" but still confronted Lyons. He had mirroring words of praise for the jogger. "She was terrific," Prohovich said. "She was a heroine, actually."
Lyons was arraigned from his hospital bed at Boston Medical Center on Tuesday. He covered his face with a bed sheet as he pleaded not guilty to all charges. He will be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.
Meanwhile, the jogger, who declined medical attention at the scene, said she's having a tough time in the aftermath of the attack but simply remembers all the people who tried to help her during and afterward.
"I am having a tough time. I'm afraid a lot," she told the Enterprise on Monday. "But the one thing I keep reminding myself is that there was one person yesterday that tried to hurt me, but there were 20 or more who tried to help me."1comments
She was out jogging again Wednesday morning with a police escort.
Photo credit: Bridgewater Police Department