"Not today, motherf*cker." That's what Kelly Huron shouted at a man who attacked her on March 5. Huron, 36, stopped to use the bathroom while on a run in Seattle, WA, when a man jumped out of a stall and began assaulting her. But Huron refused to go down without a fight, and she was able to fend him off with self-defense training she had received just weeks before.
Huron shared images of her injuries, the Golden Gardens park where the attack occurred, and a GPS map of her run on Instagram. The photos went viral with women expressing their encouragement and how it empowered them in the comments. Speaking with ABC News, Huron explained that she was immediately suspicious when she saw the man, who has been identified as 40-year-old registered sex offender Gary Steiner, in the bathroom.
"As I was drying my hands, I became aware that something was wrong," she told ABC. Moments after Huron saw Steiner, he charged. "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, motherf*cker,'" she said. The phrase became her mantra and Huron repeatedly screamed it at Steiner throughout the ordeal.
Speaking with local channel Kiro7, Huron said she refused to let him win mentally and used that as motivation. Her tactic? "Being loud and not afraid," she said. "I mean you are afraid, but letting him know, 'You are not taking me down today. You are not going to win this fight.'"
Huron was able to barricade herself in a stall, but Steiner eventually entered the stall from the side and began punching her face. Without hesitation, Huron launched a counterattack based on what she had learned from a self-defense class just a few weeks before.
"I learned hard bones and soft, fleshy places, so I just started hitting the side of his head," she told ABC News. Following a rush of adrenaline, Huron said she was able to escape the bathroom and hail down someone to help her. A passerby fortunately had a carabiner, and they were able to lock Steiner in the bathroom.
Steiner has an extensive record of assaulting women dating back into the 1990s and is being held on a $750,000 bond. Huron, who has rejected the idea that she is a victim, hopes that other women will feel empowered by her story.
"We don't have to go down," she told Kiro7. "We don't have to be quiet about it."