Earlier today, Cole McGowan, a bright young man who handles social media and communications for the Miss GEICO offshore racing team, did something brave and selfless in Orlando, Fla. The 22-year-old college graduate—all 135 pounds of him—stepped between a would-be assaulter and his female victim.
McGowan had just grabbed a coffee in the lobby of the hotel where he was staying.
Flanked by Miss GEICO partners Gary Stray and Scott Colton, Cole McGowan gave the entire team something to be proud of today.
“The barista yelled that a man was attacking a woman,” McGowan said. “I looked up and saw his forearm around her neck. I got up and had the presence of mind to grab my mask, ran through the door and across the street. He had her pressed against a wall at that point.
“By the time I got there, he released her because four or five other people followed me out,” he continued. “The woman kept walking. A cook and myself were about to put our hands on him when he threatened to pull a gun. Against better judgement, we kept pursuing him until he started turning toward us. Someone already had the cops on the phone. The girl went into a health clinic. He followed her in. I waited for the cops outside the clinic.”
Once the police arrived, McGowan departed the scene. He did not see the man arrested, nor does he know what became of the woman.
“I’m dying to see the security camera footage from the hotel,” he said, then chuckled. “I haven’t moved that fast in a while.
“Anyone in our community would have done the same thing,” he added.
Being a few decades older than McGowan and less confident in human nature these days, I’m not so sure. What I do know is I’ve always been a fan, through good times and bad, of the Miss GEICO team.
And now I have another reason.