Jogger fights off bathroom attacker weeks after taking self-defense class

Gary Steiner, Seattle bathroom attacker (WCHM photo)

SEATTLE, WA (WCMH) — The woman says she had stopped to use the restroom when she was attacked by a man who was hiding in a stall.

Kelly Herron says it was one of the scariest moments of her life.

“I was here, dried my hands and then, was cornered,” she tells KIRO.

Police say Gary Steiner, 40, hid in a stall then attacked Herron when she entered.

Herron, however, wasn’t going to go down without a fight. “We’re down on the ground, this is where I was clawing his face and screaming at him.”

She was able to roll into the next stall, hoping she’d be safe, but Steiner followed her, continuing the attack.

“Beating me up and I was able to pull myself. I was on my back, I pulled myself out this way. That’s when I took the worst blow to the head and came out this way,” she says.

Herron tells KIRO, that a 2-hour self-defense class she took three weeks ago, helped to save her from Steiner. “I was screaming at him, not today expletive, being loud and not afraid. I mean you are afraid but letting him know you are not taking me down today. You are not going to win this fight.”

Herron didn’t know that Steiner was a level three sex offender, who had an extensive criminal history of assaulting women.

All she knew was that she didn’t want to be a victim. “That was the only thing that was motivating me, was I cannot be raped by this guy in this place.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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