Seattle jogger fights back after terrifying bathroom assault

SEATTLE (ABC NEWS) – A shocking Instagram post is sending chills and inspiration to women everywhere.

The post shows 36-year-old jogger Kelly Herron safe but battered after a brutal attack while she was out for a run.

Herron was four miles into a 10 mile run in this popular Seattle park when she stopped to use a public restroom.

“I was drying my hands when I became aware that something was wrong.”

That’s when police say Gary Steiner, a 40-year old known sex offender, assaulted her.

“It was a fight on the bathroom floor and I just kept screaming not today throughout the entire attack.”

Her body-worn GPS showed her frantic attempts to get away from Steiner.

“I was able to pull myself out of the stall and in that door was jammed. I started to feel like I was going to lose consciousness but I got another surge of adrenaline and I reached for the door and was able to get out.”

Herron says self-defense lessons saved her.  She fought back with tactics she had just learned three weeks earlier.

“I learned hard bones and soft fleshy places so I just started hitting the side of his head with this part of my hand.”

Jordan Giarratano, of Fighting Chance Seattle, says he’s been teaching for more than 20 years.

“This is one of the most surreal things I’ve ever seen in the four years I’ve been running this workshop. It’s very inspiring and overwhelming and humbling.”

One survey by Runner’s World Magazine suggests 43 percent of women experience some sort of harassment while running.

Self-defense can give women the power they need if harassment turns into something worse.

“Be loud and fight like a savage,” Giarratano said.

Herron now says she feels empowered, writing on Instagram, “my face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.”

“[Police] said I did an awesome job and did a good number on his face.”

Police say Herron was able to lock Steiner in the bathroom.

Tips from self-defense:

  1. Trust your intuition
  2. Be loud and fight as hard as you possibly can
  3. Respond immediately. If you feel like it’s a bad thing happen, it probably is. If you respond quickly, you will get the upper hand.

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