Patriots lineman honored for stopping sexual assault in Arizona originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Justin Herron was among two people honored in Tempe, Arizona, on Wednesday for taking action to stop a troubling incident.
The New England Patriots offensive lineman and Phoenix resident Murry Rogers received Outstanding Service Awards from the Tempe Police Department for their roles in stopping a sexual assault Saturday at a local park.
According to police, a 30-year-old man was seen pushing a 71-year-old woman to the ground and "attempting to remove the woman's pants" before Herron and Rogers intervened.
Herron rushed over to help when he heard the woman screaming, second-year lineman recalled in a press conference Wednesday.
"At that moment, I was in shock," Herron said, via NBC affiliate 12News in Phoenix. "It was 11 a.m., middle of the day, in a very open field and the fact that it happened there at that time was just very shocking.
"I wish I could tell you what I was thinking, but I could just tell someone needed help. 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."
Herron and Rogers both ran to the woman when the incident began, and Herron -- who stands at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds -- pulled the man off the victim.
"I'm a football player, I'm kind of big," Herron said. "I try not to be too aggressive with people knowing I could potentially hurt somebody."
"I do have a loud voice. I yelled, told him to get off of her and then yanked him off and I told him to sit down and I told him to wait until the cops come."
Herron and Rogers met with the woman this week, and Rogers said the woman referred to them as "her angels."
Herron is in his second year with the Patriots after New England selected him in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He appeared in 12 games last season, starting six.
You can watch the press conference featuring Herron and Rogers below.