(NewsNation) — Olympic silver medalist Kim Glass is back home and healing after she says she was unexpectedly attacked by a homeless man with a metal pipe in downtown Los Angeles after lunch with her friend.
“I do have multiple fractures up here and a small one here,” Glass explained in a video she posted to social media describing her attack.
In an exclusive interview with NewsNation, Benson Parks, a downtown LA resident, said he was sitting in his car eating lunch when he heard screaming.
“I’m hearing more and more screaming. I’m like dang. So I get out the car. And I look — it’s this lady bleeding, like, all over the place. Like, it was crazy,” Parks recalled.
Parks said he ran across the street and grabbed the suspect, keeping him pinned down until police arrived. He took action because he noticed no one else was really doing anything, they were just standing around filming.
He explained how the gash on Glass’s eye looked deep, estimating it had to have been about 3-4 inches deep.
Glass’s friend was trying to help her control the bleeding, and other bystanders provided napkins from the restaurant in an attempt to stop the bleeding. But Parks told them that wasn’t enough to control the bleeding and suggested they use something that could provide pressure to the wound.
“Like, she’s bleeding a whole lot,” Parks said.
He recalled that the EMTs wrapped her head when they arrived, but before that bystanders helping her had wrapped her head in a towel in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
Glass, who won a silver medal with the U.S. Women’s volleyball team at the Beijing Olympics, posted videos online talking about the attack that fractured facial bones and gave her several cuts.
“Right now, it looks like my vision will be OK and I got really great stitching from the doctor. I have just amazing family and friends around me and just supporting me and that has been the best part,” Glass said.
Parks heard that the man who allegedly attacked Glass had done something like this before and actually went to jail.
“Come to find out, this guy has done this before,” Parks explained. “He went to jail and they said he got out on parole, and here he goes doing the same thing again. It’s crazy.”
When police arrived, the 51-year-old suspect was taken into custody and booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
Parks said he didn’t know who Glass was until after the incident. Parks said he didn’t think about her identity until his wife asked him later that day if he had gotten her information to make sure she was alright.
The Olympian reached out to thank him on social media later, telling him, “My heart fills up knowing that so many good people won’t turn a blind eye.”
Parks said people are messaging him, trying to send him money over money-sharing apps for his good deed. But to Parks, he just saw someone who needed help and acted. Parks said he turned down the offers and says he would do the same thing again if he needs to.
“To me, it’s just normal — especially a woman, like any woman out there defenseless. If you have it in your ability to help her, then you should help her,” Parks said.
The attack now puts pressure on L.A. District Attorney George Gascón, who is facing a potential recall after his critics accused him of being too soft on crime.
“Our office is aware of the assault. A case has not yet been presented to our office for filing consideration. Once the case has been submitted, we will review the case and determine the appropriate charges,” the DA’s office said.
Gascón’s office told NewsNation that it’s aware of the assault and is waiting for the case to be presented so the D.A. can determine the right charges.
“We need to crack down on this homeless problem for one, and then crack down on the stiff penalties for these people going around that’s robbing people in the streets of LA,” Parks said.