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4 Strangers Save Women From Attacker In Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - Four strangers saved two women from an attacker in Boulder over the weekend, but they refuse to be called heroes.

The women were walking within a block of their apartment on University Hill around 2 a.m. Sunday when police say a man came out of nowhere, knocked one of the women to the ground and started to choke her.

The women, juniors at the University of Colorado, were walking home and turned down a street called Lincoln Place, which is much like an alley. There are bushes along the road and when they first saw their attacker, he was coming out of the bushes straight toward them.

Police say the man who emerged from the bushes was an apparently drunk. They identified the suspect as Galen Bercaw, a 23-year-old music student at CU. The two alleged victims said Bercaw grabbed one of them by the throat after taking and then throwing her purse. The other friend tried to help.

Galen Bercaw
Galen Bercaw (credit: Boulder Police Department)

"The male forced her to the ground and choked her by placing both of his hands over the front of her throat for approximately 10 seconds," the woman said.

Both women said they feared they would die.

"I was afraid that he would rape and kill me," said the other victim.

Then a group of three male friends, and a fourth man, heard screaming and ran to help.

"We heard the screams and kind of came around the corner; the two girls hysterically crying," Good Samaritan Tyler Adams, 21, said.

Adams and his buddies saw the man trying to get through a gate to a yard.

"I said, 'Hey, did you just attack those two girls?' And he kind of came at me, so I actually grabbed his hands and kicked his legs out from underneath him. And then my two buddies and another guy, the four of us kind of jumped on top of him," Adams said.

Adams said the four agreed not to do on-camera interviews because they don't want the attention on them -- no hero talk about what happened. They just hope it will inspire others to step in and help when they can.

"We just reacted. The four of us reacted. We came to the aid of girls, which I hope any guy would do. I have a ton of girlfriends on this campus and I hope any guy would do the same exact thing for any of my friends if they were in distress," Adams said.

Bercaw was booked on five felonies, including robbery, assault, attempted assault and resisting arrest.

The men held Bercaw down until police arrived.

The CU spokesman said he can't discuss specifics about Bercaw, but in general when a student is accused of assault they're placed on summary suspension, which means they're barred from campus except for disciplinary hearings.

The Boulder County Jail said Bercaw has posted bond and is no longer in jail.

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