Patriots tackle Justin Herron was recognized by Tempe, Arizona police on Wednesday after he helped stop a sexual assault over the weekend.
According to KPNX in Phoenix, Herron and another man, Murray Rodgers, heard a woman in distress in a park and rushed to the scene. Herron pulled the man off the 71-year-old victim, and made sure he stayed put until police arrived.
“At that moment, I was in shock,” Herron told reporters. “All I could do was rush myself over there to make sure I could help the victim and I could comfort her and be the best person I can be.”
Thanks to the quick actions of Herron and Rodgers, the woman sustained only minor injuries. Police were able to arrest the suspect, 30-year-old Kevin Caballero.
Herron credited his parents for his instincts in the moment. “My parents always talked to me about it, if there’s someone in need, make sure you can help them and be the best you can be,” he said. “I don’t want this to happen again, I don’t want to have to save someone else’s life again, but I’m glad I was able to save someone’s life on Saturday.”
On Wednesday, Herron and Rogers were presented Outstanding Service Awards from the Tempe Police Department. Herron also got to formally meet the women he’d helped.
“Over the past several days, I have thought about her and pictured her face,” he recalled, “so it was really nice moment, and I’m really glad I got to meet her.” You can see his full comments below.
Herron was in the area for offseason training. The 25-year-old was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round in last year’s draft, and played in 12 games last season.