BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Four strangers saved two women from an attacker in Boulder over the weekend, but they refuse to be called heroes.

The women were walking within a block of their apartment on University Hill around 2 a.m. Sunday when police say a man came out of nowhere, knocked one of the women to the ground and started to choke her.

The women, juniors at the University of Colorado, were walking home and turned down a street called Lincoln Place, which is much like an alley. There are bushes along the road and when they first saw their attacker, he was coming out of the bushes straight toward them.

Police say the man who emerged from the bushes was an apparently drunk. They identified the suspect as Galen Bercaw, a 23-year-old music student at CU. The two alleged victims said Bercaw grabbed one of them by the throat after taking and then throwing her purse. The other friend tried to help.

galen bercaw 4 Strangers Save Women From Attacker In Boulder

Galen Bercaw (credit: Boulder Police Department)

“The male forced her to the ground and choked her by placing both of his hands over the front of her throat for approximately 10 seconds,” the woman said.

Both women said they feared they would die.

“I was afraid that he would rape and kill me,” said the other victim.

Then a group of three male friends, and a fourth man, heard screaming and ran to help.

“We heard the screams and kind of came around the corner; the two girls hysterically crying,” Good Samaritan Tyler Adams, 21, said.
space 4 Strangers Save Women From Attacker In Boulder

Adams and his buddies saw the man trying to get through a gate to a yard.

“I said, ‘Hey, did you just attack those two girls?’ And he kind of came at me, so I actually grabbed his hands and kicked his legs out from underneath him. And then my two buddies and another guy, the four of us kind of jumped on top of him,” Adams said.

Adams said the four agreed not to do on-camera interviews because they don’t want the attention on them — no hero talk about what happened. They just hope it will inspire others to step in and help when they can.

“We just reacted. The four of us reacted. We came to the aid of girls, which I hope any guy would do. I have a ton of girlfriends on this campus and I hope any guy would do the same exact thing for any of my friends if they were in distress,” Adams said.

Bercaw was booked on five felonies, including robbery, assault, attempted assault and resisting arrest.

The men held Bercaw down until police arrived.

The CU spokesman said he can’t discuss specifics about Bercaw, but in general when a student is accused of assault they’re placed on summary suspension, which means they’re barred from campus except for disciplinary hearings.

The Boulder County Jail said Bercaw has posted bond and is no longer in jail.

Comments (4)
  1. denvervet says:

    These guys did what they had to do. Luckily they were there when this happened. I hope the court orders lots of psychological testing before he is allowed out in public and at large. Can’t believe he posted bail…….jerk. He should also be ordered NOT TO DRINK ALCOHOL and get spot tested to make sure he isn’t. Then………………lock him up!

  2. pat says:

    All these “educated” people who want to convict and hang before he’s even tried should move to the Middle East. They already have that system in place….only they’d stone the women first. The guy needs PSYCHIATRIC HELP AND COMMUNITY SERVICE not prison.

  3. Dakota says:

    I’ve known galen for a long time, and I would have never expected him to do anything, like this. He was always a really nice guy, maybe a little weird, but he never hurt anyone before this. I think there is too much talk about him being some menacing prowler. He obviously needs psychiatric treatment. I feel bad for the victims, and I don’t encourage his behavior, but he isn’t this kind of person. There has to have been some recent event that spurred him to do this, that and he was drunk, at the time of the attack. If he’s sentenced to prison time, you can only expect his mental state to deteriorate and make more outbursts, like this, a real possibility. Most people don’t realize that when someone goes to prison, they almost always come out worse than they came in. People have just been released from jail have a high statistical likelihood of committing similar crimes. Please let him be sentenced to medical treatment and community service, not just for his sake, but for others, as well.
    p.s. denvervet, you shouldn’t make sweeping assumptions and call him a jerk, you don’t know him personally. This was an outburst of rage, that no one who knows Galen would have seen coming. He’s a good drummer, and he’s a nice guy. He needs help, not prison. You obviously don’t know much about the legal system because it wouldn’t be spot testing, it would be random, or daily, breathalizers.

  4. ARA says:

    I got to know Galen a couple of years ago. I agree, he’s not the type that you’d ever think would do something like this. I was extremely surprised to hear about this. I can only assume alcohol played a huge role. He’s kind of dorky, sweet, quirky, funny, the type that you’d think would not hurt a fly. He’s definitely not prison material, that would be a huge mistake. He’s 23 and still has a real chance at getting help and having a productive life. A prison sentence would really hinder and prevent that possibility.

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