Police said a 30-year-old suspect was seen on Saturday pushing a 71-year-old retired teacher to the ground. It was then that Herron and a second man, Murry Rogers, stepped in.
Herron, a 2020 sixth-round pick from Wake Forest who played 12 games last season (six starts), trains in Arizona.
“We are here to pay tribute to two Good Samaritans who intervened in this vicious attack and detained the suspect until the police can arrive and ensure he is taken into custody,” said Detective Natalie Barela of the Tempe Police Department at a press conference. “Without the swift actions of Mr. Justin Herron and Mr. Murry Rogers, this vicious attack could have been much worse. ”
Police Chief Jeff Glover said, “The impact they had on our victim’s life; these two guys stepped forward and really saved his life. ”
Barela said the victim had suffered “a significant amount of trauma, but she’s working on some of these things and is doing fine physically”.
Herron, 25, and Rogers were awarded an “Outstanding Citizen” certificate by police at Wednesday’s press conference. Herron said he heard screaming in the park and reacted.
“You see it all the time in movies and on TV, but you never think it’s going to happen in real life until it happens. At that point, I was in shock, ”Herron said.
“It was 11 am, in the middle of the day, not a single cloud in the sky and in a very open field. The fact that it happened there, at that time, was very shocking. Right now, I wish I could tell you what I was thinking. I just knew someone just needed help. All I could do was rush over there to make sure I could help the victim and make sure I could comfort her and be the best person I could be. ”
Herron, who is 6-foot-5, 305 pounds and set the Wake Forest record with 51 games started in his college career, said his height helped.
“I’m a football player, so I’m pretty tall,” Herron said. “I try not to be too aggressive with people knowing that I could potentially hurt someone. I have a really loud voice so all I did was just scream, tell her to get off of her, then rip her off. sit down and wait for the cops to arrive. ”
Police said the victim had since met Herron and Rogers and “there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”