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Homeless men credited with stopping Smyrna rape attempt | News

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Homeless men credited with stopping Smyrna rape attempt

SMYRNA, Ga. (WXIA) -- Zach Somerset, 21, and Shawn Thompson, 19, were on their way to get something to eat last Friday night when police say they saved a 15-year-old friend from being raped.

One week after it happened, they told 11Alive News they were walking along Church Street in Smyrna around 9 pm when it happened.

Walking behind them were a 15-year-old girl they knew and a man they had recently met at a homeless ministry.

But as they reached a parking lot entrance to a Chick-fil-A on South Cobb Drive, they noticed the other couple was missing.

Then they heard a horrific scream.

"It's one of the most traumatizing screams I've ever heard in my life; it made my blood chill," said Shawn Thompson.

Realizing their female friend was in trouble, they ran back the way they'd come, yelling in the dark for the girl to let them know where she was.

"I kept hollering, you know, 'Keep screaming so I can locate you, keep screaming, keep screaming'," said Zach Somerset.

They followed the screams to some bushes in front of a nearby town home complex where they found the other man trying to rape their 15-year-old friend.

After breaking up the attack, Shawn moved the girl to safety and Zach chased 27-year-old Maurice Jackson a couple of blocks, tackling and holding him until Smyrna Police could arrive.

"It was a struggle, you know," said Somerset, "he wasn't going to stay still."

Already on probation for burglary, Maurice Jackson is back in the Cobb County Jail charged with attempted rape, child molestation and sexual battery of a minor.

Their female friend is fine and now Zach and Shawn are hoping someone will help them find a job so they can put a roof over their heads.

"I feel like I did what God wanted me to do," said Shawn, "but a hero would be a good word for it, I guess."


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