Police are calling NFL player Justin Herron a hero after he intervened to save an elderly woman from an attempted sexual assault. The 25-year-old, who just wrapped up his rookie season with the New England Patriots, was walking in a public park in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday when he heard a woman screaming for help, per CNN. "You see it in movies and TV all the time, but you never think it's going to happen in real life until it does," Herron said at a Wednesday press conference. "In that moment, I was in shock." The 6'5", 305-pound offensive lineman encountered 30-year-old Kevin Caballero, who was attempting to sexually assault a 71-year-old retired schoolteacher in an open field, police said. The suspect, later charged with attempted sexual assault and kidnapping, had shoved the woman to the ground and was trying to pull off her pants, per People.
Herron said he tries "not to be too aggressive with people knowing I could potentially hurt somebody," given his size. But "I do have a loud voice. I yelled, told him to get off of her, and then yanked him off." He said he then ordered the suspect to wait for police to arrive. Murry Rogers, who was at the park for his daughter's birthday party, said he prevented the suspect from fleeing while Herron consoled the victim. He added the woman later referred to the men as "her angels." "If not for the swift actions of Mr. Justin Herron and Mr. Murry Rogers, this vicious attack could've been much worse," Tempe Police Detective Natalie Barela said at the press conference, where both men were handed awards for outstanding service. Herron noted his parents always told him "if there's someone in need, make sure you can help them and be the best you can be." (Read more uplifting news stories.)