A sharp-eyed motorist is being hailed as a hero for risking his life to save a woman who was being sexually attacked along a New Jersey highway, according to reports.
John Bishop, 54, was driving to his home in Burlington Township on Thursday afternoon when he got off I-295 onto Route 73 to pick up pool chemicals.
“I don’t normally go that way. I saw out the corner of my eye, I saw a woman walking and somebody grab her and yank her forcefully, slam her into the ground into the bushes and drag her down the hill,” Bishop told the Philadelphia CBS affiliate.
The good Samaritan screeched to a halt, ignoring the honking traffic, and jumped out to render assistance.
“It didn’t even look real to me,” Bishop said. “To see how fast she was sucked into the path and into the bushes. The big man put me there for a reason.”
“I walked down the hill,” he told the station. “I heard a woman, like she had a muffled scream over her mouth.”
Then he saw the attacker — later identified as Donald Cramer Jr., 52, of Philly — on top of the woman.
“I yelled, ‘Hey, hey, get off of her!’ And so he stood up,” Bishop said. “He came right at me and he grabbed me by my arms. I grabbed his hair real hard, I mean I yanked it backwards and then I slammed him forward onto the ground.”
The suspect came at him a second time.
“I told him I had a gun in a back pocket — I didn’t — and he didn’t even listen,” Bishop told the Burlington County Times.
“Nobody knew I was down there, and I wanted to get him up near the road, so I drug him by the arm and neck up the hill and threw him over the guardrail onto Route 73,” Bishop told the news outlet.
“I’m waving and everybody is riding by. Nobody is stopping.”
Finally, Bishop told CBS, three off-duty firefighters pulled over and helped hold the suspect before police arrived.
“I’ll be honest, I was scared,” Bishop said. “But I’m glad I stepped in. At the time, I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t even think I would get hurt.”
The woman — who told investigators the attacker also displayed a small knife and threatened to kill her — suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital, police said.
Mount Laurel police arrested Cramer, who was charged with kidnapping, criminal attempted sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, terroristic threats, criminal restraint and resisting arrest.
Police said they believe Cramer may be a suspect in more sexual assaults
“As troopers, we respond to a variety of calls every day, and there are times when we must place our lives in jeopardy. Citizens are not necessarily held to this standard, but there are also times when good Samaritans step in and risk their lives in order to protect others,” the New Jersey State Police said in a statement.