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‘Not Today, M**F**Er!’ – How This Woman Courageously Fought off a Brutal Attack From a Serial Rapist

‘Not Today, M**F**Er!’ –  How This Woman Courageously Fought off a Brutal Attack From a Serial Rapist

Kelly Herron was about halfway through a Sunday afternoon run through a popular park in Seattle when she stopped to make use of a public toilet.

“As I was drying my hands I became aware that something was wrong,” Ms Herron said. When she turned around, she said she saw a man standing in the bathroom. At that point, according to police, Gary Steiner — a homeless 40-year-old registered sex offender — assaulted her.

But the 36-year-old marathon runner wasn’t going down without a fight. She had completed a two-hour self-defence course just two weeks before and used her new-found skills to fight off the brutal attack.

“Time stopped, I went through everything we learned in self-defense,” she said. “I was screaming, hitting him with the side of my hand, scratching his face, telling him that he was not gonna get me today, screaming I was gonna kill him, and I just never stopped fighting,” Ms Herron said.

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

A post shared by Kelly Herron (@run_kiwi_run) on

“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 motherfucker.'”

Ms Herron repeatedly screamed the phrase at him throughout the attack, later saying that it became her “battle cry.” She explained that she did not lose her voice during her fight.  “Being loud and not afraid. I mean you are afraid, but letting him know you are not taking me down today. You are not going to win this fight. That was the only thing that was motivating me … I cannot be raped by this guy in this place.”

At one point in the agonizing ordeal, she was able to escape from her attacker into a bathroom stall, but was only able to keep him at bay momentarily.

“I got into that stall flipped on my back and I tried to kick the door lock shut with my foot,” Herron said. But she missed the lock and jammed the door. Steiner came into the stall from the side and she said “he started beating me in the face with his hand.”

Ms Herron said she had a moment of clarity when she realised “this doesn’t have to be a fair fight” and began to scratch his face.

“All those little things that I learned in my life…how to punch and everything came back to me,” she said. “I started to feel like I was going to lose consciousness…but I got another surge of adrenaline and I reached for the door and was able to get out.”

A person outside of the public toilets had a carabiner on hand that they used to lock Steiner in the bathroom until the police arrived. Officers said the attack was so violent that several of the stalls were broken during the ordeal.

Steiner was charged with second-degree attempted rape, as he allegedly told Seattle police he was in the bathroom for the sole purpose of raping a woman. He’s being held on US$750,000 bail.

Steiner has an assault record against multiple women dating back to the 1990s. He is listed as a Transient Level III Sex Offender, classed as most likely to reoffend.

Ms Herron returned to Golden Gardens Park on the same day Steiner was charged, making it clear that she will not be victimised by the attack. She wants other women to be empowered with the same knowledge she has, and urges women to take a self defence class.

“We don’t have to go down. We don’t have to be quiet about it,” Ms Herron says. “My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.”

What an amazingly brave and powerful lady she is. Bravo, Kelly Herron! You’re an inspiration.

Jill Slater

Jill Slater

Jill is a busy wife and mother of four young children. She loves nothing more than making people giggle, and loves to settle in with a glass of wine (or four) and wander about the internet. Feel free to follow her to see all the cool stuff she finds!

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