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Patriots' Justin Herron Honored As A Hero For Helping Stop A Sexual Assault In Tempe, Arizona

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Patriots offensive lineman Justin Herron is being praised as a hero in Tempe, Arizona, after he helped stop an attempted sexual assault of a 71-year-old woman over the weekend.

Video Transcript

PAULA EBBEN: A member of the New England Patriots stepped up big time off the field to help stop a crime. Police in Arizona say Justin Herron heard an older woman screaming for help. WBZ's Dan Roche joins us now. And Dan, Herron jumped right into action.

DAN ROCHE: Yeah he did. This is a story of being in the right place at the right time and acting upon it. And that's exactly what Patriot offensive lineman Justin Herron did on Saturday afternoon.

JEFFREY GLOVER: This is about us being able to celebrate two heroes in our community.

DAN ROCHE: Justin Herron was honored for what he thought was simply doing the right thing, helping rescue a 71-year-old retired schoolteacher being sexually assaulted in a park Saturday at 11:00 AM.

JUSTIN HERRON: I just knew that someone just needed help. I kind of realized that it was way more aggressive than what, you know, if it was a couple. It was-- it was way more aggressive than that. So I just knew that in that moment, I had to go. And had to put a stop to it.

DAN ROCHE: And the six foot 4" 300-pond pound Wake Forrest graduate did just that.

JUSTIN HERRON: I'm a football player. So I'm kind of big. And I try not to be too aggressive with individuals, knowing that like I could potentially hurt somebody. But I do have a very loud voice. And so all I did was just yell. Tell them get off of her, and then yanked him off, and then I told him to sit down.

DAN ROCHE: Arizona resident Murray Rodgers who also assisted was impressed with a 25-year-old Herron.

MURRAY ROGERS: Justin took the victim away from the scene. And I think that started the healing process right, because she didn't have to continually be in that environment.

DAN ROCHE: The 71-year-old victim met Herron and Rogers Wednesday calling them her angels.

JUSTIN HERRON: It was heartwarming to see her but also gut wrenching to see how she responded to the trauma and how she's dealing with it. No one should go through that.

DAN ROCHE: And for Herron, this wasn't about being a hero.

JUSTIN HERRON: If someone needs your help, go help them. And I never thought this would happen. And I don't want it to happen again. I don't want to-- I don't want to have to save someone else's life again.

DAN ROCHE: Herron was awarded an outstanding service certificate by the Tempe Police Department and was given a special police challenge coin for his achievement. What an amazing young man. Paula.

PAULA EBBEN: Outstanding, Dan. And thank goodness he was there and as he said, acted. Dan Roche, what a great story. Thank you.