(INSIDE EDITION) A Washington State woman managed to fight off a random attacker just weeks after taking a self-defense class.
Kelly Herron, 36, was doing a 10-mile run in Golden Gardens Park last Sunday as training for an upcoming marathon when she stopped in one of the restrooms, but she couldn’t have imagined what awaited her inside.
"I used the restroom and went to wash my hands and I had my hands under the dryer and then turned around and there was a man right in front of me whose face was covered," Herron told InsideEdition.com. "He lunged at me and I immediately just started to go into fight mode."
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-defense class offered at my work and utilized all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact. #fightingchanceseattle #ballard #runnersafety #marathontraining #womensselfdefense #myballard #fightlikeagirl #fightback #dontbeavictim #nottodaymotherfucker #youcantbreakme #instarunners #garmin #garminvivosmarthr
Herron said the man then threw her to the ground and began punching her before she crawled into a stall and he followed. She said the man repeatedly tried to turn her over onto her stomach.
"It’s a full on fight. As woman you are conditioned to know that that is how a man rapes you," Herron said. "Thank God for a pair of good compression pants."
Herron said that’s when her training, that she’d learned three weeks prior in a self-defense class offered by her job, kicked in.
"Time stopped. I remembered what the instructor said in class, which was to hit with the side of my hands…Hard bones in soft fleshy places. I realized this doesn’t have to be a fair fight," Herron said. "I had one hand to use so I just started clawing his face and punching him in the face with the side of my hand."
Herron eventually managed to lock the man in the stall after jamming the door shut and police arrested Gary Steiner, a registered sex offender, at the scene.
"All I kept screaming during the attack was, 'Not today, motherf***er.' I was screaming it like an animal. It was the most vicious savage part of my being. There was no way I was going to let this guy rape me,” Herron said.
Herron suffered bruises and needed stitches above her left eye.
Steiner, who is reportedly homeless, was convicted in Maricopa, Ariz., of sexually assaulting several women in 1999 and indecent exposure in 2008, according to the charges and the Clark County sheriff’s online sex-offender registry.
Steiner has been charged with attempted second-degree rape and second-degree assault with sexual motivation.
He remains jailed in lieu of $750,000 bail.