36-year-old Kelly Herron is a marathon trainer who was going for a daily workout through Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park when she ran into her worst nightmare. She stopped to use a restroom in the park when she was assaulted by a man hiding in the toilet stall.
“As I was drying my hands, I became aware that something was wrong,” Herron told ABC News. She says she turned around to see 40-year-old Gary Steiner, who immediately charged her.
“He immediately took me down to the ground, hit both my knees and legs, and then it was a fight on the bathroom floor, and I just kept screaming, ‘Not today, motherfucker!'”
It was a grueling fight that eventually moved to the bathroom stall, where Herron “stopped playing by the rules” and relentlessly scratched Steiner on his face. She finally was able to momentarily shake him off and run out of the bathroom. A nearby park guest had a carabiner that they used to lock the bathroom door.
Herron told her story on Instagram, where it has been liked over 26,000 times:
My biggest running nightmare became reality- 4 miles into my long run Sunday afternoon, I stopped to use the restroom and was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall (that is my GPS in red lines). I fought for my life screaming("Not today, M**F**er!"), clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip- never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived. Thankfully I just took a self-defense class offered at my work and utilized all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact. #fightingchanceseattle #ballard #runnersafety #marathontraining #womensselfdefense #myballard #fightlikeagirl #fightback #dontbeavictim #nottodaymotherfucker #youcantbreakme #instarunners #garmin #garminvivosmarthr
Despite her harrow assault, Herron has said that her marathon training schedule is going forward at full speed.
I couldn't remain the silent, anonymous victim- there is a message of survival that is too important to remain untold. I'm grateful to have found the right people to help me tell it. Thank you @siemnykiro7 @kiro7seattle @dorimonsonshow @kiroradio973 @budopunk I hope this encourages women to #neverstopfighting #neverstoprunning #womensselfdefense @mayoredmurray – Are you listening!? #Iamasurvivor #notavictim #nottodaymotherfucker
Herron has urged all women to know their strength, and to take self defense classes.
“I learned hard bones and soft fleshy places, so I just started hitting the side of his head,” she said. Herron says that women should fight hard, and be loud.
To her attacker, she just repeats her new mantra: Not today motherfucker.
FIGHT LIKE A SAVAGE! I might pay your $750,000 bail just to let my #runningsquad finish the job! #nottodaymotherfucker #nottodayexpletive #nottoday #selfdefense #womensselfdefense #runnersafety #instarunners #fightback #fightlikeagirl #runkiwirun #kellyherron #fightingchanceseattle #theultramindset #goodmorningamerica #GMA #goldengardens #nottodaymfer #fightlikeasavage @budopunk @rosieperezbrooklyn @kiro7seattle @mayoredmurray #areyoulistening
Gary Steiner was arrested at the scene and is being held on $750,000 bail. He has a record of multiple assaults against women dating all the way back to the early 1990s.