A woman who fought off a convicted sex attacker in a public toilet has provoked a renewed push for women to have self-defence training after it emerged she used moves learned during a class.
Kelly Herron reportedly screamed “not today mother***er” at a man who tried to attack her as she took a break while she was jogging, and succeeded in escaping after “clawing” and “punching” him before locking him in the toilet.
The jogger told of her ordeal on Instagram, saying she “fought for her life” and put her ability to fight the attacker down to a self-defence class she had recently attended.
“My biggest running nightmare became reality — four miles into my long run Sunday afternoon, I stopped to use the restroom and was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall,” wrote Ms Herron on Instagram.
“I fought for my life screaming (“Not today, M**F**er!”), clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip - never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived.
“Thankfully I just took a self-defence class offered at my work and utilised all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.”
Speaking on US TV show Good Morning America, Ms Herron revealed large bruises on her arm from the attack and an image of her GPS route showing the lines of her movement, displaying her frantic attempts to get away from the attacker.
“As I was drying my hands I became aware that something was wrong,” Ms Herron told the TV show.
“It was a fight on the bathroom floor. All I could think was: ‘Not today — expletive’. I was screaming. I was able to pull myself out through the front of the stall, because that door was jammed. I started to feel like I was going to lose consciousness.
“But then I got another surge of adrenaline, and I reached for the door and was able to get out. I had learned at the self-defence class to put hard bones in soft fleshy places, so I just started beating the side of his head with the side of my hand.
“Police told me I did an awesome job and that I did a pretty good number on his face.”
After Ms Herron's experience was broadcast, scores of social media users began congratulating her and stressing the importance of knowing self-defence.
One woman, Kim Wagner, wrote on Facebook: "This is why we need to learn to defend ourselves! Ideally we'll never need to use these skills but it's so important in case you do."
A male Facebook user, Thomas Howanic, wrote: "This is why we do self-defence seminars for women often. She took a class just three weeks before the attack. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time."
Ms Herron’s attacker, 40-year-old known sex offender Gary Steiner, is reportedly facing charges of potential rape and assault.