Chatham County, Georgia – A Kroger store rapist captured by a Marine veteran with a concealed weapon and a shopper who rushed to help is behind bars. A woman was inside the bathroom at the Berwick Kroger store on April 27, when she was attacked by a stranger. Her screams led to a Marine veteran chasing after the alleged perpetrator. There are good people still left in the United States.
The alleged rapist captured
Marine Veteran Damian Austin was shopping with his wife at the local Kroger store in the Berwick area when he heard a blood curdling scream. A person behind him said that the woman who screamed had just been raped in the bathroom by a man who was running out of the store.
“A lady behind me just said ‘he raped that girl in the bathroom,’ and once she said that there was nothing else for me to do besides go out the door after him,” said Austin.
It’s the kind of situation that would cause many to run in the other direction, but not Austin. The former Marine chased Hathorne through the parking lot and ended up in the back of the nearby Ace Hardware store…
“I told him to put his hands in the air. He complied and put them up,” said Austin. “I told him to get on the ground, and he tried to say something, and I said: ‘Don’t say a word.’”
Moments later, a woman in the parking lot jumped in to help Austin detain the suspect.
“She went inside the store. A minute later she came out with a pack of large zip ties, and so she pulled out a couple and walked over there,” said Austin.CBS42
Police eventually arrived and arrested the subject. The community was seriously grateful for Austin’s intervention. The Ace Hardware store gave him a $100 gift card. But Damian Austin wasn’t looking for accolades or to be called a hero. He did what Marines do- take care of the task in front of them.
Here’s the surveillance video of Austin detaining the suspect:
The alleged rapist captured was Gregory Hathorne, 25. He was arrested on charges of felony kidnapping, felony rape, and misdemeanor battery. The suspect was new to the area and had never met the woman before.
I immediately thought, ‘my wife shops here, I have friends whose wives shop here, my son works here. So it was just about not letting this person get away after he did what he did…I just hope this doesn’t dictate her life from this point on. There are people who still care, and they’ll act in time of need.Damian Austin
Damian Austin is being called a hero for diving into the situation when others might have run the opposite direction. But then, he’s a Marine veteran, and Marines don’t run. Semper Fi, Damian Austin. Great job!
Featured photo: screenshot via WSAV
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