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Marine, 5-y-o son save OC woman from attack

May 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man barged into a woman's bedroom in San Clemente and assaulted her in front of her two young children. The woman was sleeping with her two children when the attack happened. First, her 5-year-old tried to help, and then the woman's neighbor, a Camp Pendleton Marine, stepped in. It happened Sunday morning on the 300 block of Cazador Lane in San Clemente.

The man accused of attacking the woman is said to have been delirious, talking about demons. It took two Orange County sheriff's deputies and a Taser to subdue him. But this is also the story of two heroes, one a U.S. Marine and the other a 5-year-old boy.

It's a peaceful San Clemente neighborhood, just blocks from the ocean, but around 9:30 a.m. Sunday that solitude was shattered.

"I was in shock; I've never heard anyone scream like that," said Jenna Jerou, a friend of the victim's.

Jerou quickly realized the screaming was coming from the apartment below. It was her best friend, a single mother with two young kids.

"This crazy guy on drugs came into my house and attacked me," said "Jane Doe," the attack victim. "I tried calling the cops and he knocked the phone out of my hand. He was on top of me with his hands around my neck. The more I struggled, the harder he squeezed. I screamed, that's all I could do was just scream and scream."

The woman who was attacked did not want to be identified, but she will always remember the face of the suspect, 18-year-old Jonathan Aiken. She says he entered her apartment through an unlocked door. She heard someone trampling through some weeds and climbing down an embankment. That's when Aiken burst in.

"He kept on saying, 'The demons are coming,' and to close the windows to keep them out, and that he was in love with me," said the victim.

That is when the woman's 5-year-old son sprang into action, jumping on Aiken's back. The boy took two hits to his face, and has the bruises to prove it.

"He was so brave," said the victim. "He jumped on top of the guy and started hitting him on the back of the head, screaming as loud as he could to 'get off his mommy.' He's definitely my hero."

Fortunately, Jenna Jerou's husband Justin is a U.S. Marine corporal. He bolted down the stairs in just his boxer shorts and jumped on Aiken, eventually pulling the attacker off of the woman.

Orange County sheriff's deputies arrived shortly afterward and had to use a Taser to get Aiken under control.

It was a terrifying experience for the young family, with two heroes, one big and one small, making sure it didn't end tragically.

Aiken was booked for suspicion of sexual battery, child endangerment and being under the influence of narcotics. His bail has been set at $100,000.

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