'I'm not a hero, I'm a human': Homeless Calgarian catches man charged in park sex assault
A homeless man who restrained the suspect after an assault in a Calgary park says he gained the upper hand in the struggle by using moves from action movies.
Rodney Page has been homeless for almost a month since a family dispute left him out on the street. Spending his nights at Riley Park in the northwest neighbourhood of Hillhurst, the 22-year-old Page was headed to his tent around 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday when he heard a man crying nearby.
"I was going to comfort him, that's the type of person I am," Page told the Calgary Eyeopener. "When someone's crying, I'm there to comfort."
That's when Page encountered a young man who told Page he had been "play fighting" with a woman nearby. Page convinced the man to go and apologize to the woman and her friends, but that's when things took a dramatic turn.
One of the victim's friends told Page that the crying man had sexually assaulted the woman.
The Good Samaritan
"They were on the phone with the police already and that's when I grabbed him by his shirt and I said 'Let's go to the road,' so the cops could have easier access to him," Page said.
"I'm just there at the right time."
Page said the man tried to run and the two men became involved in a struggle. Page then kicked the attacker's legs out from under him, but the man elbowed Page in the head and put him in a choke hold.
Page broke free and he was able to restrain the attacker until police arrived a few minutes later.
"I had to put him in, like, the cop manoeuvre," Page said. "I did take boxing for about four years, but that didn't give me that type of training.
"I've watched a lot of fighting movies, I used to watch a lot of cop shows, so I kind of learned from there how to restrain a person."
Staff Sgt. Bruce Walker with the Calgary Police Service's sex crimes unit said Page's actions were "material" in the arrest and stopped the attacker from fleeing the scene.
"I belive by his actions that he prevented further trauma to the victim," Walker said. "Again, in saying that we always err on the side of caution, people may possess weapons. Any opportunity to initially call the police right away would be the ideal course of actions for safety reasons."
I'm not a hero, I'm a human.- Rodney Page
Page said that once police arrived he was able to speak with the victim about the incident.
"Honestly, she started crying because it was a hard situation," Page said. "But you know what, she gave me a hug and I could see she felt a little bit of relief and comfort."
Page said one of the responding officers called him a hero, to which Page responded, "I'm not a hero, I'm a human."
"But I heard from the one cop that I might be getting a hero medal or something like that," Page said. "And I said I don't really want that, I just want a sandwich."
Page hopes that his actions will help break the stigma about homeless people.
"Everybody's the same, we're all the same, we're all people," Page said. "Everybody needs love in their life, and I was never really given it. But I'm willing to give it all out, and that's just who I am."
Grayson Reed White, 18, of Calgary has been charged with assault and sexual assault with a weapon in relation to the incident. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 26.
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- With files from the Calgary Eyeopener