Florida Gators linebacker Cristian Garcia was taking out the trash at a local bar in Gainesville last Thursday morning when he witnessed a repulsive sight.
He was finishing up his bouncer duties as the bar closed when he saw a man aggressively shoving a woman against a dumpster. He thought perhaps it was a drunken hookup, so he didn’t exactly want a closer look, but he had a feeling something was dead wrong about this situation.
The man tried to convince Garcia that it was his girlfriend, but when he saw her limp, unresponsive body, he knew he had to put an end to it.
“At first, the guy said she was his girlfriend, but about five seconds later I realized the girl was unconscious,” Garcia reported to GatorSports.com. “I turned around and pulled the guy by the shoulder and said, ‘Get off.’ That pretty much ended the situation then. He was intoxicated and attempted to throw some punches, but he slipped and busted his face on the wall.”
Most disturbingly, the man’s crew of his friends was just crowding around watching it happen.
“They didn’t even know her. They were lying to cover for him. They were going to let him do that,” said Leyorea Simmons, a fellow security guard who helped stop the act.
“I hold strong moral values and I don’t think anyone should be taken advantage of in that kind of way,” Garcia told WTLV. “The girl was basically unconscious, so I knew there was no way she could be giving consent.”
Photo: Florida Gators
“If that was my sister, I would hope that somebody would do the same thing,” he added in an interview with the Sun.
34-year-old Christopher Lee Saw is now being held in lieu of $500,000 bond for the sexual assault. He tried to convince authorities that he was just “making out” with the victim, but video captured by witnesses clearly proved it was rape.
Headlines everywhere are hailing Garcia a hero, especially considering the bad rap most college athletes have when they make national news associated with a sexual assault case.
However, Garcia doesn’t want the praise for his efforts to overshadow the horrible act that led to him intervening.
“A horrible act happened on the other side of this and I hope the victim is all right,” he said.
“I think God just put me in the right place at the right time. I’m humble enough to know I’m not the only one who could have stopped this.”
In a world of Brock Turners, we need more Cristian Garcias.