EXCLUSIVE: Sand Springs Jogger Tells Of Fighting Back In Attempted Rape
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - The Sand Springs jogger who fought off an attacker last summer in a city park tells us what it was like to encounter a man who had both a gun and a knife.
It takes a lot of courage to go on TV and talk about some of these very personal things, but courage is something Haylee has plenty of - and she would like others to know you can fight back and win.
"He stopped his bike right in front of me and lifted up his shirt and in his waistband of his pants, he had a gun," said Haylee, who was jogging in Sand Springs in June of 2013.
"He said, 'do you have any money,' and I said, 'no,' and he said, 'come with me.'"
That moment changed Haylee's Sunday afternoon jog on the Sand Springs trail into something she never expected. She says on the inside, she was freaking out, as he told her how fit she looked and began asking her if he could do sexual things to her. But on the outside, she remained calm and just kept telling him no.
"I think he got frustrated I wasn't doing what he wanted so he was like, 'get on your knees.' I did. That's when he pulled down his pants. He had a knife out and said, do this and I was like no, no."
That was her moment of truth, when she just decided she would not let him do this to her, that she would rather fight back, so she grabbed the knife, they wrestled, and she stabbed him in the leg.
"I remember grabbing it and pulling it down and screaming," she said. "Then we were tussling and we ended up turned around and I was on all fours and his hand was in my hair. I had the knife still, and he still had the knife and he said, 'okay, if you let go of it - the knife - I'll let you go.'"
He did let her go, but only after telling her no police reports, no media.
Haylee walked to a nearby Urgent Care, her hair a mess, tears streaking her face, blood dripping from her hand.
She did tell police and the media did broadcast his description. Police arrested 49-year-old Stephen Bowes, who just recently pleaded guilty and got 48 years in prison.
Haylee's dad always told his daughters, when it comes down to it, fight, and that's what Haylee did.
"I wasn't going to let myself get hurt or give into what he wanted," she said. "I would rather fight than have to deal with that."
Haylee had nothing but praise for Sand Springs police, the District Attorney's office and the folks at the Urgent Care.
She says the hardest part of this has been realizing that even growing up and living in a small town, it's not as safe as you thought. She has also had to change her routine: she never jogs alone.