A Bridgewater man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman out jogging Sunday as he attempted to abduct her, police said.
Bridgewater police said Gordon Lyons, 57, was arrested a short time after the alleged incident using a photo the victim took as he drove away to identify his car. He has been charged with kidnapping, indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or older, and assault and battery.
Bridgewater police said in a statement they responded to the scene near 433 Pleasant St. around 7:35 a.m. when they received multiple 911 calls reporting that a female jogger had just been assaulted by a man.
The 37-year-old woman was jogging down the street when Lyons allegedly pulled his car over in front of her, got out of the car, and ran towards her, authorities said. He then grabbed both of her arms and sexually assaulted her as he tried to pull her towards his nearby car, according to police.
“The woman was able to scream and fight with Lyons, causing both of them to fall to the ground. Lyons then got up and ran back to his vehicle and fled the area,” police said in a statement.
A passing driver witnessed the attack and continued to follow Lyons and contacted police, while the victim took a photo of the Bridgewater man’s car and called 911.
A resident from a nearby home also saw the alleged assault and came over to help the woman, according to authorities.
Donald Prohovich, 85, told Boston 25 News, he said, “Hey, what’s going on?” when he saw the physical struggle between the woman and her alleged attacker and praised the 37-year-old’s quick thinking to take a photo of the departing car.
“She was terrific,” Prohovich said. “She was a heroine, actually.”
84 y/o #Bridgewater neighbor who intervened on attempted abduction of jogger Sunday morning calls victim “the real heroine”. Police say she screamed, fought off suspect Gordon Lyons #Boston25 pic.twitter.com/xttrwSp3VX
— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredes) June 18, 2018
A nearby camera captured the incident.
Lyons was arrested after a motor vehicle crash on Route 24 in West Bridgewater a short time later, police said. He was injured in the crash and is currently being held at Boston Medical Center in the custody of Bridgewater police without bail pending his arraignment.
The 37-year-old told The Brockton Enterprise she screamed and kicked at her attacker.
“I just knew that I needed to do whatever I needed to in order to be OK,” she told the newspaper. “I knew I needed to defend myself and be smart. I knew I needed to do something so this person wouldn’t just walk away.”
The woman said she was grateful for the intervention of a nearby resident and the driver of a pickup truck who pulled over to help.
“I am having a tough time. I’m afraid a lot,” the jogger told the Enterprise on Monday. “But the one thing I keep reminding myself is that there was one person yesterday that tried to hurt me, but there were 20 or more who tried to help me.”
Police said the woman declined medical attention at the scene and the incident remains under investigation.