McSally was running in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Wednesday when a man came up behind her and “engulfed her in a bear hug,” she said in a video posted on Facebook shortly after the attack.
“He molested and fondled me until I fought him off,” she said. “I then chased him down, I said a lot of swear words. In this moment, I was in a fight, flight or freeze, and I chose to fight. I ran after him, I threw my water bottle after him and I chased him into the brush, where he was then hiding as I called 911 and waited for the police to come.”
The man fled before officers could arrive.
Council Bluffs police identified Dominic M. Henton as the suspect through surveillance video and “other investigative means,” a news release states. Two photos released by the department showed Henton, 25, following McSally eastbound over the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge and then southbound onto the trail, police said in a statement. Two other images showed him in the area before and after the alleged assault took place.
During the evening hours on 11-09-2023, an arrest warrant was issued charging Henton with one count of Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse.
Henton is described as a white male, 5’8, 140 with brown hair and green eyes.
Authorities said Henton is believed to be a transient, and was taken into custody Friday around 3:23 a.m. by police in Omaha, Nebraska. He is waiting for extradition to Council Bluffs on a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
After his arrest, McSally wrote on Facebook, “Omaha Police Department arrested my attacker around 4 this morning.” She included the prayer hands and flexed biceps emojis in her post.
The former Senator, who lost reelection in 2020, was in Omaha to speak about courage.
“And I just had it put to the test,” she said in her Facebook video.
McSally said she was still trying to process what happened and that it “tapped into a nerve of other sexual abuse and assault that I’ve been through in the past.”
In another video, from when she was at the airport on her way to Chicago, she said she became emotional thinking about what happened to her. She encouraged anyone going through trauma to “process it.”
Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Journalist for Mountain Daily Star.