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Jogger Fights Off Convicted Rapist

37-year-old also got help from neighbors Sunday in Bridgewater, Mass.
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2018 12:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – Putting up a fight, a woman managed to escape being abducted by a convicted rapist while out jogging in Massachusetts on Sunday, police say. The woman, who chose not to be identified, was running in Bridgewater around 7:30am when a man got out of his SUV and came toward her. At first, she thought he needed help. "But when he was coming right at me I was like, 'OK, this is happening,'" the 37-year-old tells ABC News. A surveillance video shows the man lunge as the woman tries to escape. "He was grabbing at me," but "I was able to fight and kind of flip him to the ground," she says. Though the move also brought the woman to the ground, "I just kept kicking back behind me … trying to prevent him from getting a further hold of me and getting to a point where he could either assault me or pick me up and get me into the vehicle," she says.

Just as a driver stopped at the scene, the woman's neighbor, 84-year-old Donald Prohovich, saw the commotion and came over. Amid his yells, the attacker got back in his SUV and fled, but not before his would-be victim snapped a photo, helping police identify a vehicle that crashed a short time later, per Boston.com. Police arrested Gordon Lyons, a 57-year-old convicted rapist now charged with kidnapping, indecent assault, and battery. Even so, "I'm afraid a lot," the woman tells the Brockton Enterprise. "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." Singling out "hero" Prohovich, she adds, "I cannot tell you how grateful I am. That is a brave man." Prohovich heaps praise elsewhere. "She was terrific," he tells WFXT. "She was a heroine, actually." (Read more Massachusetts stories.)

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