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Patriots' Justin Herron honored for preventing attempted sexual assault

March 24 (UPI) -- The Tempe Police Department honored New England Patriots reserve offensive lineman Justin Herron on Wednesday for stopping an attempted sexual assault in an Arizona park four days earlier.

Police said the suspect, who was identified as 30-year-old Kevin Caballero, was seen Saturday pushing a 71-year-old retired teacher to the ground and attempting to remove the woman's clothing.

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That's when Herron and a second man, Murry Rogers, intervened and detained the suspect until police arrived.

"If not for the swift actions of Mr. Justin Herron and Mr. Murry Rogers, this vicious attack could've been much worse," Detective Natalie Barela of the Tempe Police Department said at a news conference.

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Barela said the victim has experienced a "significant amount of trauma, but she is working through some of these things and physically doing OK."

The 25-year-old Herron and Rogers were presented with Outstanding Service Awards during Wednesday's news conference for their actions.

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Herron, who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, said he heard screaming in the park and reacted.

"You see it in movies and TV all the time, but you never think it's going to happen in real life until it does. In that moment, I was in shock," Herron said. "It was 11, in the middle of the day, not one cloud in the sky and in a very open field. The fact it happened there, at that time, was very shocking.

"In the moment, I wish I could tell you what I was thinking. I just knew someone needed help. All I could do was rush myself over there to make sure I could help the victim and make sure I could comfort her and be the best person I can be."

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Herron, who was a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Wake Forest, played in 12 games (six starts) last season. He has been training for the 2021 season in Arizona.

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