Homeless Man Stops Rape

Irot Marinucci/Flickr

It’s so easy for us to demonize the homeless. We assume that they are lazy, dirty, addicted to some type of substance or just ultimately responsible for landing in their current situation. Rarely do we consider the fact that sometimes life is just hard. And homeless doesn’t necessarily equate to a deficiency in character.

For example, take Ketrell Ferguson, a recently homeless man in Washington, D.C. The local NBC affiliate reports that around 3:30 a.m., Ferguson was looking for a place to sleep when he heard screams and noticed a struggle between a man and woman behind a bus stop. Initially, he thought it was a robbery, but when he continued looking, he realized the man on top of this woman was trying to rape her. Acting quickly, Ferguson grabbed a stick that was laying nearby and half of a brick. Ferguson, who said he’s had family members who’ve been raped, said he had to do something.

“As soon as he lifted his head up, I smacked him with the stick, hard as I could in his head,” said Ferguson. And he fell off the lady, stumbled, and I smacked him again. And I just kept smacking him with the stick, I mean, as hard as I could.”

Then Ferguson went to a nearby building and told them to call the police, that there had just been a rape. Ferguson’s actions helped police find 23-year-old Alemen Gonzalo about an hour later. He was bleeding from the head. Police say that Gonzalo tried to pay the woman for sex and she refused.He was charged with assault with the intent to commit first-degree sexual abuse.

Ferguson said, “Even though I’m going through hard times, God put me in a place where I could help. I was at the right place at the right time.”

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.