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'I needed to defend myself.' Woman fights off kidnapper in broad daylight, police say

Attacker flees after trying to kidnap woman in broad daylight, police say

A Bridgewater, Mass., woman was able to fight off a man who police say assaulted and attempted to abduct her as she was out for a run. Gordon Lyons was arrested and charged with assault and kidnapping.
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A Bridgewater, Mass., woman was able to fight off a man who police say assaulted and attempted to abduct her as she was out for a run. Gordon Lyons was arrested and charged with assault and kidnapping.

A Bridgewater, Mass., woman said she was following all the best practices for running safety, but was still nearly the victim of a brazen attempted kidnapping Sunday.

"Honestly, I was doing all of the things I thought you should do,” the 37-year-old woman told the Enterprise News. “It was daylight, it was a main road and it was close to the police station."

A video camera from a nearby business shows a distant view of what happened. Cars travel up and down Pleasant Street at about 7:35 in the morning Sunday when a woman can be seen jogging by the road. A sedan passes her, then slows down and pulls over.

A figure then gets out of the car and lunges toward the jogging woman, the video shows.

“The second that car started to slow down, I knew something was wrong and I started to go wide,” the woman told the Enterprise News. “I knew I needed to get away before he even got out of the car. I just knew that I needed to do whatever I needed to in order to be OK,” she said. “I knew I needed to defend myself and be smart."

The man appears to grab the woman's arms as she struggles before they become difficult to see. Police say the man grabbed the woman's arms, sexually assaulted her and attempted to drag her to his car during this time.

After a few moments, another vehicle slows down and pulls over, and then somebody's body appears to fly to the ground near where the scuffle was taking place. That person gets back in the car and then speeds off, nearly crashing into a white picket fence.

Police later said the suspect, identified as 57-year-old Gordon Lyons, crashed his car in West Bridgewater before being arrested.

Lyons was charged with kidnapping, indecent assault and battery and assault and battery, according to Bridgewater Police. He hid behind a bed sheet when he was arraigned in a hospital room, WCVB reported.

"This is anything but a victim," Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher D. Delmonte said of the woman, according to MassLive. "This young woman was very courageous. She fought back. She wasn't going to be a victim in this case."

Donald Prohovich, an 84-year-old neighbor of the woman, told Boston 25 he came to confront the alleged kidnapper after he noticed the fight going on.

"He was trying to grab her and put her in the car," Prohovich said. "I started walking toward him, he still struggled and she was struggling," he told the station. "She was terrific. She was a heroine, actually."

The woman told the Enterprise News Prohovich's intervention may have helped save her life.

"It was when that car stopped and that man walked over that that man attacking me got back in his car and left,” she told the paper. “For that, I am so grateful.”

Lyons is now being held on a $100,000 bail, according to WCVB.
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