“What else can I do?” Patriots lineman Justin Herron stops sexual assault

This past Friday, ESPN.com had quite a story on New England Patriots offensive lineman Justin Herron. The second-year tackle prevented a sexual assault while on a walk near his home in Tempe, Arizona.

He heard screaming, saw what was happening nearly a football field’s length away, somehow made eye contact with the woman and realized what was happening. Then he ran over to intervene.

From the story by Ryan Hockensmith:

“As Herron leaves the park, he calls his mom to tell her what happened. ‘You’re never going to believe this,’ he tells her. ‘I saved this woman from getting raped in the park.’

“‘What if the guy had had a gun or a knife?’ she asks. Herron lies and says that he could tell immediately Caballero didn’t have any weapons. He didn’t know, though. He just knew he had to start running.”

Herron learning to be a better teammate, to mentor others rather than just focus on himself and try to set an example is part of the backstory here. He had to think of others, in order to lead and be respected. What if he, like other bystanders that day, heard what they thought were screams but ignored them and went about their business?

“I really applied that to my life ever since then,” Herron told Hockensmith about his college days at Wake Forest. “And it’s definitely paid off.”

As you’ll see if you read the story, the woman whom he saved is eternally grateful and has a special bond with Herron that hopefully lasts for years to come.


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