MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (CBS) – In the corner of his eye, a good Samaritan noticed a woman in trouble and then decided to risk his own life to save her from being attacked off a busy South Jersey highway. New Jersey state troopers say John Bishop saw a man drag the woman into a wooded area off I-295 north, near Route 73.
Pure happenstance placed Bishop in the exactly the right spot at the right time as he merged into traffic.
“I got off of 295, onto Route 73,” Bishop said. “I don’t normally go that way. I saw out the corner of my eye, I saw a woman walking and somebody grab her and yank her forcefully, slam her into the ground into the bushes and drag her down the hill.”
It was a surreal moment and even though it was broad daylight, around 3 p.m. last Thursday, Bishop knew it wasn’t his imagination.
“Like grab her backwards. It didn’t even look real to me,” Bishop said. “To see how fast she was sucked into the path and into the bushes. The big man put me there for a reason.”
Bishop then threw his pickup truck in park, ignored the honking as he blocked traffic – he says he didn’t even turn his truck off – and ran to help.
“I walked down the hill,” he said. “I heard a woman, like he had a muffled scream over her mouth.”
Then he saw 52-year-old Donald Cramer Jr. on top of the woman.
“I yelled, ‘Hey, hey, get off of her’ and so he stood up,” Bishop said. “He came right at me and he grabbed me by my arms.”
A full-fledged fight broke out.
“I grabbed his hair real hard, I mean I yanked it backwards,” Bishop said, “and then I slammed him forward onto the ground.”
Even though the suspect came at him a second time, somehow, Bishop was able to bring Cramer back into the view of passersby.
“I drugged him up by his hair and his neck and I drug him up over the hill,” Bishop said, “and I threw him over the guardrail. I’m waving and everybody is riding by. Nobody is stopping.”
Finally, Bishop says three off-duty firefighters pulled over and helped hold the suspects before police arrived.
“As troopers, we respond to a variety of calls every day, and there are times when we must place our lives in jeopardy. Citizens are not necessarily held to this standard, but there are also times when good Samaritans step in and risk their lives in order to protect others,” New Jersey State Police said.
When asked if he considers himself a hero, Bishop said, “No, I just did what anybody else would have done.”
The victim was taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Cramer was charged with kidnapping, criminal attempted sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, terrorist threats, criminal restraint and resisting arrest.
Detectives believe that Cramer may be the suspect of more sexual assaults and are requesting that anyone with additional information to please contact the Bordentown Criminal Investigation Office at 609-298-1171.