CICERO, Ill. (CBS) — The town of Cicero honored a college freshman on Tuesday for helping detain a man who had sexually assaulted a female student inside a dormitory shower at the University of Illinois-at Chicago last week.
At a town hall meeting Tuesday morning, 19-year-old David Guerrero was recognized for his bravery.
Police have said Tavares Humphries, 28, attacked a woman around 10 a.m. on March 31, while she was taking a shower in the women’s bathroom on the 5th floor of the Commons South Residence Hall at 700 S. Halsted St.
Humphries was taking a shower directly across from the victim when she pulled back her shower curtain, and he asked her to borrow some soap. He then entered her shower, and when she told him to leave, he got out of her stall. But he lunged at her moments later, and choked her unconscious. When she woke up, she was in a different stall, and Humphries was raping her, prosecutors said. The 18-year-old woman screamed, but Humphries slapped her and told her to shut up, then choked her unconscious again.
Guerrero, a freshman at UIC, was down the hall at the time of the attack, and heard the victim’s screams. He ran to the bathroom, told the young woman to run, and then kept the suspect from leaving. He said Humphries appeared to be on drugs, and he led Humphries out of the bathroom and sat with him until police arrived.
“He kept trying to walk away, so … we just kept walking around the hallway, and I eventually just sat him down a third time and waited until the police got there,” he said.
Guerrero said he never thought he might be in danger himself.
“Honestly, the only thing on my mind was just making sure he didn’t leave,” he said.
Town spokesman Ray Hanania said Guerrero’s courage was remarkable.
“We’re very proud of the fact that somebody from the town of Cicero was able to do such good, and to intervene to help somebody in need,” he said.
Guerrero said he doesn’t think he did anything extraordinary.
“I appreciate the recognition, that people want to call me a hero, but honestly I don’t think I did anything out of the ordinary,” he said.
Guerrero said he’s embarrassed by all the attention.
“It’s been pretty nerve-wracking, hearing people come up to me, congratulating me,” he said. “Pretty uncomfortable at times, but I’m really glad I was able to react the way that I did, and I’m just glad everything worked out, and I just hope justice is served and he goes to jail for a very long time.”
His mother, Angelica Guerrero, is an assistant principal in Chicago. His father is a part-time Cicero police officer. His mother said she and her husband are very proud of their son.
“I’d like to think that we raised him and his brothers right; just trying to instill family values, and to help other people whenever they need assistance,” she said.
Humphries, who is not a student at UIC, was charged with one count each of attempted murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, attempted burglary, and battery of a police officer.
Authorities said he got into the dorm by following a student inside, and he burglarized a dorm room before attacking the woman in the shower.
Prosecutors said Humphries lunged at a UIC police officer when he was being questioned about the attack, and allegedly squeezed the officer’s groin when the officer tried to handcuff him.
Humphries has been ordered held without bond. He has a lengthy criminal record, with at least 17 arrests, and seven convictions, including one for a sex offender registry violation.