Witness who saw woman being brutally assaulted by boyfriend recognized as hero | SteamboatToday.com

Witness who saw woman being brutally assaulted by boyfriend recognized as hero

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A 44-year-old Steamboat Springs woman is being lauded as a hero for helping save the life of a 21-year-old woman who was being brutally assaulted by her boyfriend.

Steamboat Springs Police Department Chief Cory Christensen recently awarded the woman a certificate and bouquet of flowers for meritorious action by a citizen.

The woman preferred not to be identified.

The assault occurred in February at about 3:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a condo complex.

The victim was seven months pregnant, and Christensen said the boyfriend had made statements that he wanted to terminate the pregnancy.

The boyfriend was trying to kick the woman in the stomach, Christensen said.

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The woman who witnessed the assault yelled at the boyfriend and chased him off.

She then stayed with the victim until help arrived.

"It's still a traumatic experience for her," Christensen said.

He said the recognition has helped the woman with closure.

While investigating the incident, police learned other people knew something was going on.

"She's actually the only one that assisted and decided to do something," Christensen said.

Diane Moore, executive director of the Advocates Building Peaceful Communities domestic violence awareness group in Steamboat Springs, said it is not unheard of for strangers to turn a blind eye to violence, despite the noise, yelling and screaming.

Moore said some people just do not want to involve themselves in the situation.

"I think there is a fair amount of that that goes on," she said.

Moore said intervening in domestic violence can be dangerous, and it is sometimes best to just call 911.

She said it is important for people to reach out and offer support when they see someone being hurt.

"I think if she hadn't intervened that this woman could have been killed," Moore said. "I think it was heroic, and I don't think most people would have done it. So, she's a hero."

Christensen said the victim's baby was born. The mother and child are now living on the West Coast and doing great.

The suspect is still at the Routt County Jail.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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