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'Hero' pulls gun to stop woman from being raped on Austin trail

Friday, November 10, 2017

'Hero' pulls gun to stop woman from being raped on Austin trail

An Austin man takes his weekly trail run armed with a flashlight, cell phone -- and a handgun tucked in a Velcro belt. Last month he pulled out the weapon to help rescue a woman who was being sexually assaulted. Josh Williams, 39, was running about 5:30 a.m. on the north side of Austin's Hike-and-Bike Trail when he heard a woman screaming and pointed his flashlight in her direction, KVUE-TV reported. He saw a man on top of her and realized she was being sexually assaulted. "I came up, pulled my gun and told him to get off of her," he told the station. "I said, 'Get on your knees and show me your hands.'" The suspect told Williams that he knew her, but the woman told Williams that wasn’t true. The suspect ran away, but Williams and the victim were able to give police a description. Richard McEachern, 22, was arrested several days later and faces a sexual assault charge, the station reported. The woman told Williams that the suspect had came up from behind her and tackled her. The incident was one of three similar attacks over a several-week period, but police do not believe they are related. Williams says he’s been licensed to carry the Glock 43 for about 10 years and uses it to protect himself and others. “I didn’t think I’d ever have to pull it,” he said to the station. “Did I want to? No, but it was just right place, right time.” Williams has kept in touch with the victim since the incident and says she has continued running on the trails. “I don’t see myself as being a hero,” he said. “But I guess I am. It's pretty cool."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.