Last Thursday afternoon Bishop, 54, was on his way to his home in Burlington Township from his job at Cooper University Hospital when he got off of I-295 onto Route 73 to pick up some chemicals for his pool. Instead, he would end up saving a woman from an attempted sexual assault.
MOUNT LAUREL — John Bishop couldn’t believe what he had just seen and heard as he took the northbound exit off of Interstate 295 onto Route 73.
“When I first saw those arms come out of the bushes, it took a second to register,” Bishop said Monday.
Something wasn’t right. Bishop stopped his truck, and threw it into reverse. Once he got back close to where he saw the strange sight, he heard a woman scream, prompting him to get out of his truck and run into the woods.
At first he didn’t see anyone. It wasn’t until he went a little deeper and down a hill that he heard muffled screams as a woman tried to fight off a man.
″‘Hey, what are you doing? Get off of her,’ I yelled at him. ’Let me see your hands,” Bishop said when he saw what was happening.
Last Thursday afternoon Bishop, 54, was on his way to his home to Burlington Township from his job at Cooper University Hospital when he got off of I-295 onto Route 73 to pick up some chemicals for his pool.
Instead, he would end up saving a woman from an attempted sexual assault, police said.
Bishop said that after he yelled at the man, later identified by police as Donald Cramer Jr., 52, of Philadelphia, to show his hands, Cramer started to run at Bishop.
“I told him I had a gun in back pocket — I didn’t — and he didn’t even listen,” Bishop said.
Cramer came at him and tried to wrestle him to the ground. Bishop, who said he had only ever been a few fights growing up, was able to pin Cramer to the ground twice, but both times Cramer was able to wiggle free.
“Nobody knew I was down there, and I wanted to get him up near the road, so I drug him by the arm and neck up the hill and threw him over the guardrail onto Route 73,” Bishop said.
Eventually, Bishop said three other good Samaritans stopped and helped hold Cramer down until police arrived.
“I’ll be honest, I was scared,” Bishop said of the struggle between him and Cramer. “But I’m glad I stepped in. At the time, I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t even think I would get hurt.”
According to police, the female victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local area hospital.
The suspect, Cramer, was arrested by officers from the Mount Laurel Police Department. Police said that Cramer did not know the victim, and they were not traveling together at the time of the assault. The incident is still under investigation by the New Jersey State Police.
The state police charged Cramer with kidnapping, criminal attempted sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, terrorist threats, criminal restraint and resisting arrest.
He is currently being held at Burlington County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Detectives believe that Cramer may be the suspect of more sexual assaults and are requesting that anyone with additional information to please contact Detective Craig McCoy of the Bordentown Criminal Investigation Office at 609-298-1171. Anonymous tips are welcome.
“As troopers, we respond to a variety of calls everyday, and there are times when we must place our lives in jeopardy. Citizens are not necessarily held to this standard, but there are also times when good Samaritans step in and risk their lives in order to protect others. This was just the case when John Bishop intervened to save a female victim from an attempted sexual assault,” the New Jersey State Police wrote in a statement about the incident.