VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A woman who was attacked by a transient sex offender in a Golden Gardens Park bathroom last year says she was groped again while running a half-marathon race in Vancouver over the weekend.
Kelly Herron told KPTV that she was on her 12th mile of the Girlfriends Run for a Cure Sunday when a man approached her on the side of the running path. She said he acted strangely, then lunged at her and grabbed her butt.
“I was a bit in shock, and then he got this smug smile on his face and it infuriated me,” Herron told KPTV. “I just knew that this is how he gets his thrills, and he is probably more aggressive and brazen. These types of crimes tend to escalate.”
At the time of the alleged assault, Herron was alone on the path, as the other runners had scattered ahead of her and behind her. She said opted to pause the race and run after her attacker. She yelled "assault" as she chased him and, fortunately, got the attention of a bystander who tackled the suspect and waited with Herron for police to arrive.
Vancouver Police arrested a 30-year-old man for the reported groping.
This wasn't Herron's first time being victimized by a male predator.
In March 2017, she was attacked in a bathroom at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle. A transient sex offender, Gary Steiner, was charged with attempted rape after he punched her twice in the face, knocked her to the floor and pulled her pants. She scratched his face and managed to escape.
“I think this kind of violence and assault happens to women all the time. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been groped," she said.