Sherman Teenager Speaking Out Following Attack In Park - - No One Gets You Closer

Sherman Teenager Speaking Out Following Attack In Park


SHERMAN, TX -- A woman is speaking out after she says she was attacked by a man while running in the park, and the suspect is now facing charges.

A Sherman teenager says she was just wrapping up her three-mile run on Sept. 4 at Herman Baker Park.

"I only had about one-fourth of a mile left and I was going around the longest path, it was pretty secluded and as I was running, I kind of saw someone run ahead of me," says alleged victim Shelby Graham, 18.

Graham didn't think anything of it because there were other people running and it was still light around 7:30 p.m.

"I just kept going and going and then I felt something kind of push me down onto the ground, and he started grabbing my neck and as he was choking me, I tried to hit him, scratch him, do anything to get him off of me," says Graham. "This hand was on my neck and the other hand was holding down my other arm so I was using this hand to try to get free."

Graham says it felt like forever, but it was probably only 30 seconds to a minute. "A little boy heard me screaming and then he went and got his parents and they were able to come over there and he ran off," says Graham.

Graham says she has been back here to the park, but it's still hard for her to forget what happened that evening.

"He was choking me so hard, he probably would have just killed me because I couldn't breathe at all," says Graham.

"I almost kind of didn't believe it when it was happening, because we ran there for months," says mother Shelley Plumlee.

Plumlee says the two had been running for a few months to prepare for September's Arts Festival 5K.

"We normally ran together, her, her boyfriend and I, but that night I had church, so I decided not to go. Pulling into the driveway, she called crying frantically, saying that she'd been attacked," says Plumlee. "She just seemed very frazzled. She wasn't speaking in complete sentences."

This week, a grand jury indicted the suspect, Esteban Hernandez, 40, of Cameron, Tex. He faces two charges of attempt to commit sexual assault.

According to court documents, in the second attack on July 29, Hernandez allegedly asked a runner for the time, and then grabbed her upper arms and pushed her against a tree. She also got away.

"I've told Shelby I think that was meant for it to happen to her, because she was able to identify him," says Plumlee.

Police say witnesses spotted Hernandez and his truck that evening and they found him at the nearby Creekview Apartments. He allegedly admitted he was trying to have sex with Graham and admitted to the other attack. He's currently out on bond while awaiting trial.