With sexual assaults in college under the national spotlight, it’s a breathe of fresh air that someone did what was right, and stopped an assault in progress.
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According to police, University Of Florida linebacker, Cristian Garcia, a junior walk-on who plays linebacker for the Gators, helped stop the rape of an unconscious woman behind a trash bin outside a Gainesville bar.
Garcia states that he was taking out the trash from the bar where he works security early Thursday when he noticed a couple having sex. He initially thought it was consensual, but then noticed the woman was unconscious. Garcia said the man’s friends were watching the assault, and did nothing to help. He and a fellow bouncer, Leroyea Simmons Jackson, walked up and stopped it.
Gainesville police later arrested 34-year-old Christopher Shaw and charged him with sexual battery of the 19-year-old victim. He was jailed in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
“The girl was basically unconscious, so I knew there was no way she could be giving consent,” Garcia told the paper.
Garcia said he grabbed the man by his shoulder.
“I said, ‘Get off her! Get off her!’” he told the station. “And he was like, ‘Mind your business.’ I yanked him one more time. He got off. Then he got aggressive with me,” Garcia said. “He was intoxicated and attempted to throw some punches, but he slipped and busted his face on the wall.”
Police said Shaw ran away from Garcia and Jackson, but he was caught later and officers were able to identify him from a video shot by a bystander. Police said the woman told investigators in a hospital interview that she didn’t know Shaw and that she tried to push him away but kept losing consciousness. Police said she was intoxicated.
He gave credit to his upbringing in Miami and education at Belen Jesuit, as well as UF’s athletic association and his coach, for teaching him morals.
“Sexual assault is such an important issue especially across college campuses – and it should be brought to awareness definitely more,” Garcia said. “I hope what I am able to do is bring awareness to everyone about sexual assault.”