A Good Samaritan honored in Austin for stepping in to stop a sexual assault in progress downtown.
APD to honor vigilant pedicab driver who stopped downtown sex assault
AUSTIN – A pedicab driver, who helped stop the sexual assault of an unconscious woman and identify the suspect in the incident, will be recognized with a “Distinguished Service” citation by the Austin Police Department Thursday afternoon.
“It’s humbling, I didn’t expert any recognition,” said Palos.
During the early morning hours of May 19, 2016, Pedicab Driver Luis Palos stopped his vehicle after hearing moaning and the sound of a distressed woman near the United States Courthouse on 4th Street. There, Palos said he saw an unconscious woman being sexually assaulted by a man.
“I knew that I had to step in and help,” said Palos.
When Palos asked the man, identified by police as Said Yarrow, 19, if he knew the woman, Yarrow claimed she was his girlfriend – even though he could not tell Palos her name, Austin police said.
When Palos offered both the suspect and a victim a ride in his pedicab, the suspect initially accepted, but later hopped out of the vehicle and began to run away.
Palos chased the suspect and requested others on the street to call 911. Police were able to find the wallet of the suspect, containing his identification card. Palos positively identified Yarrow through a photo lineup.
“I thought of my wife, and my sisters, and my mother,” said Palos.
Austin police said Palos’ efforts in the incident were crucial for police to find and arrest the suspect.
“Officers are overwhelmed, and there are many many capable people who are always willing and ready, and I would like to consider myself one of them as well,” said Palos.
The ceremony will take place during the APD Violent Crimes II Meeting in the Old Motorola Building at 2 p.m.
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