A Canadian man out for a stroll in his neighborhood heard a woman screaming inside of her home, and when he went inside, he couldn’t have made a worse possible discovery.
According to CTV News, Bronson Norton was walking through his Vancouver neighborhood when he heard the unidentified woman screaming from inside the home, so he decided to investigate. When he went inside, he found a man committing an absolutely horrific rape against her, and rather than leave the home, he decided to take action.
On Thursday afternoon, 25-year-old Caleb Timothy Heaton broke into the woman’s home, armed with a rock and a knife. He then proceeded to tie her up and used clothing to choke her as he brutally raped the defenseless woman before Norton intervened and stopped the vicious attack.
“It was automatic, I just ran in there, I wasn’t really thinking about what I was getting in to,” Norton said.
The two men apparently started fighting in the home, allowing the woman to escape Heaton’s grasp, and their skirmish spilled out into the street. At that point, several other neighbors stepped in and helped Norton detain Heaton until police arrived and took him into custody.
“She looked like something out of a horror movie,” witness Amber Ritchie said. “She was covered in blood.”
According to CBC News, the woman was rushed to the hospital with extensive, but non-life threatening injuries. During the attack, Heaton apparently cut off two of her fingers and caused multiple other injuries, leading detectives to believe he would have killed her had Norton not intervened.
“The guy who went in and rescued that girl is a hero and I haven’t had the chance to give him a hug and thank him because if he hadn’t, I don’t know,” said Ritchie.
Norton reportedly suffered injuries as well, but they weren’t considered life-threatening. Because of his bravery, his community is hailing him as a hero, even police, who said they don’t encourage people to get involved in such cases.
“While we don’t normally advocate people getting directly involved, obviously we’re very grateful to this man who stepped in,” Const. Brian Montague said.
The woman is said to be recovering, but she obviously has a long road ahead of her. Members of the community have come together and started a GoFundMe campaign for her to help pay for her medical bills and other expenses.
“She was very brave and smart and strong. She fought back. She made noise,” said Shelley Sullivan, who started the donation page. “And help came in the form of some amazing heroic neighbors who showed a lot of courage, who stepped up, stopped this horrible crime, and probably saved this young woman’s life.”
Heaton was arrested on seven charges, including aggravated sexual assault, breaking and entering, robbery, and unlawful confinement. He reportedly has a history with law enforcement and served nine months in jail in 2012 after robbing an electronics store with a knife.
Hopefully, police charge him with intent to kill and this attack takes him off the streets for good. A man like this belongs in only one place – behind bars. It’s evident with his history that if he’s allowed to go free, it will only be a matter of time before he strikes again.