On Saturday, February 13, at around 8:47 a.m., a woman in her 40s reported she was jogging with her smaller-type dog on the West Bank Bike Path, near 300 N. Jefferson and Owen Rose Memorial Gardens, when a man she didn’t know tried to intercept her by trying to punch or grab her. She had observed him as she had approached, and thought he was behaving in a suspicious manner, appearing to watch people near the bathroom. She was able to run away and call 911. At the time of the incident there were many other people on the bike path and it was daylight.
Officers responded to the area, including a K9 unit, and performed an area check. They were unable to locate the man. The man is described as having a tan complexion, was approximately 5`8” to 6`0” tall, wearing a clown-skull mask, a black hoodie, and dark grey sweatpants.
GENERAL PERSONAL SAFETY TIPS
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Do not get into someone’s car even if they display a weapon. It is better to fight back in the street where help is closer at hand and other people may hear your calls for help.
- Walk confidently and don’t avoid eye contact
- Don’t let strangers into your ‘space.’ Keep plenty of distance between yourself and people you don’t wish to approach you.
- Don’t stop to talk with strangers asking for directions or other types of help as this can be a ploy to get close for an attack.
- If you feel you are in danger or being followed, call 9-1-1
- If grabbed, fight back and make as much noise as possible.
- Use the buddy system when walking after dark or in ‘fringe’ areas, which are places there are fewer people travelling, allowing them a chance to victimize you without chancing witnesses. You should know the person you are walking with well enough to trust them.
- Walk in lighted areas as much as possible and don’t walk too close to bushes, alleyways or other places where attackers can conceal themselves