WARMINGTON: Woman saw ‘devil in his eyes’ as she fought off attacker in Brampton park

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This time it was the predator who got the worst of it when he attacked a woman in Brampton.

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What he thought was a petite, vulnerable woman running alone in a wooded park turned out to be strong person who had some boxing training.

Oops!

“I punched him in the face,” Darun Henry, 33, said Thursday, hours after Peel Regional Police revealed a suspect was in custody. “I guarantee you he felt it.”

As she ran on Sept. 15 in Massey Park — near Bramalea Rd. and Bovaird Dr. E. — her instincts told her something was not quite right.

But seeing her attacker before he grabbed her saved this Brampton woman and potentially others too.

“I saw the devil in his eyes,” Henry recalled. “His intention was to attack me from behind.”

As he lunged at her, Henry decided to fight back.

“I kicked his ass,” she said. “He messed with the wrong person.”

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Darun Henry, a 33-year-old mom of two and fitness instructor from Brampton, fended off an attacker as she worked out at Massey Park on Sept. 15, 2021. Peel Regional Police have charged a 19-year-old Brampton man.
Darun Henry, a 33-year-old mom of two and fitness instructor from Brampton, fended off an attacker as she worked out at Massey Park on Sept. 15, 2021. Peel Regional Police have charged a 19-year-old Brampton man. Photo by JACK BOLAND /TORONTO SUN

He pushed her to the ground, but then ran away like a gutless coward. He was no match for the mother of two daughters — aged four and 10 — who is a personal trainer and nutritionist and has taken boxing lessons.

Henry has also taught the ‘sweet science’ as a fitness tool.

“But I had never hit a person, but I am glad I knew how to do it,” she said.

It may have saved her life.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

She’s such a dynamo. A real inspiration.

“It is emotional but I was not scared of him,” Henry said. “I was angry.”

This is why she was able to use her cellphone and record him scurrying away, and why she took to social media afterward to share her story.

“I want him to know when I punched him in the face I wasn’t scared” and that “I am crying” not out of fear but “because he took my sanctuary. my temple, my gym,” Henry said.

She also warned her attacker: “If I ever . . . see you again, I promise this time you will not be able to run away.”

Turns out Henry was not this man’s victim but “his worst nightmare.”

She and a second victim — a woman who was assaulted by a man on a bicycle in Jayfield Park in Brampton around 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 21 — were able to provide police with a suspect description.

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE

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“They are very brave,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said of the victims. “This whole ordeal is sickening.”

Brown praised both women, the community and police because he knows how badly these incidents could have ended — like the similar attack in August 2020 on Whitby’s Kimberley Black that had her within seconds of death.

“Investigations like these are deeply concerning and can be extremely difficult to solve,” tweeted Peel Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich, who thanked the community for helping.

Police were looking for a white man in his mid-20s, about 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, with brown eyes, and a black beard. The assailant, who was riding a black mountain bike, wore a black hooded top, a black baseball hat, black jogging pants, black and white sneakers, and a blue surgical mask.

“I think the COVID mask gives people like this confidence,” Henry said.

Paul Yousif has been charged in connection with assault investigations in Brampton.
Paul Yousif has been charged in connection with assault investigations in Brampton. Photo by PEEL REGIONAL POLICE /TORONTO SUN

Peel cops were able to identify a suspect and take the man into custody on Tuesday.

Paul Yousif, 19, of Brampton, is charged with assault, assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm. He remains in custody awaiting a bail hearing.

Henry vowed she will run in the park again — eventually.

“I will go first with my husband who has been my hero,” she said. “But I definitely will be going back.”

jwarmington@postmedia.com

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