Mount Laurel Township, NJ – A Good Samaritan stopped his truck on a highway to rescue a woman from a man who was trying to sexually assault her.
The incident occurred at about 2:45 pm on June 6 as 54-year-old John Bishop got onto the Rt. 73 exit ramp off of northbound Interstate 295, WCAU reported.
Bishop was stopping to buy pool chemicals on his way home to Burlington Township after work at Cooper University Hospital, the Burlington County Times reported.
He was on the exit ramp when he saw a man grabbing a woman on the side of the road and dragging her down the embankment as he passed by.
So he stopped his truck on the shoulder of the highway and went to rescue her, according to WCAU.
Bishop said he could hear the woman’s muffled screaming as he ran to help her.
He said that when he caught up with the pair, the suspect confronted him, WCAU reported.
″‘Hey, what are you doing? Get off of her,’ I yelled at him. ’Let me see your hands,” Bishop yelled, according to the Burlington County Times.
“He came up out of the bushes and came at me and grabbed me by the arms,” Bishop told WCAU. “I threw him down on the ground like three times and then I drug him up to the top of the hill and threw him over the guardrail.”
He said the suspect, later identified as 52-year-old Donald Cramer Jr., was armed with a sharp object although he didn’t see it when they were fighting, WCAU reported.
“I told him I had a gun in my back pocket — I didn’t — and he didn’t even listen,” Bishop told the Burlington County Times.
“I picked up a stick and I was getting ready to hit him and he started to fall,” he told WCAU. “The ground is very steep there. And when he fell I just grabbed it and I kind of like stuck it in his shoulder blade really hard and used my weight to pin him to the ground.”
Bishop said he dragged Cramer back up to the highway.
“Nobody knew I was down there, and I wanted to get him up near the road, so I drug him by the arm and neck up the hill and threw him over the guardrail onto Rte. 73,” he told the Burlington County Times.
He said three more good Samaritans who happened to be members of the Palmyra Fire Department stopped to help him hold onto Cramer until police arrived.
Mount Laurel police arrested Cramer and booked him into the Burlington County Jail, the Burlington County Times reported.
He was charged with kidnapping, criminal attempted sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, terrorist threats, criminal restraint, and resisting arrest.
The victim was transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries, WCAU reported.
She told police she had missed a bus and was walking back to her car when Cramer grabbed her.
The New Jersey State Police have taken the lead in the investigation and credited Bishop with saving the woman, the Burlington County Times reported.
“As troopers, we respond to a variety of calls every day, and there are times when we must place our lives in jeopardy,” state police said in a statement. “Citizens are not necessarily held to this standard, but there are also times when good Samaritans step in and risk their lives in order to protect others. This was just the case when John Bishop intervened to save a female victim from an attempted sexual assault.”
Detectives believe Cramer may be the suspect in a number of additional sexual assaults, the Burlington County Times reported.