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Police Search for North Raleigh Park Attacker

Posted April 1, 2008

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— Police are increasing security at a north Raleigh park after a runner was attacked.

A 22-year-old woman told police she was jogging on a Lake Lynn Park trail at about 7 p.m. Monday when a man struck her from behind.

"It's kinda shocking, a little bit. You would think somewhere around here would be safe," runner Katie Thornton said.

"The suspect came up from behind and struck her and knocked her to the ground," said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

The victim said she was hit twice with a rock and fell to the ground. The man ran away when she screamed.

“It feels like a violation. This is our neighbor. We live right off the lake, and it's a real violation to feel like that can happen," runner Linda Baehr said.

Brenna Croson teaches self-defense to runners.

"Most likely as women, we are not going to win an attack. (Self defense) is purely to help you get time to get away," she said.

Runners are also encouraged to run with a partner instead of hitting trails alone.

Croson also suggest runners leave earphones at home.

"The one thing that can help keep you safe is to hear someone come up from behind," she said.

The victim, who recently moved to the Triangle from Michigan, said she was training for the Boston Marathon. She suffered a concussion from the attack.

The suspect is described as a black male in his teens or 20s. He is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 160 to 170 pounds. He was wearing a gray hoodie; baggy, light-colored blue jeans; and tan Timberland boots. Two tan-colored designs that were said to resemble a sideways “S” were on the back pockets of his jeans.

Police are urging everyone to use caution near Lake Lynn Park and to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department’s Detective Division at 919-890-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.


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  • Tired of thoughtlessness Apr 3, 2008

    This is scary. When I was pregnant, I used to walk this trail.

  • rebekah816 Apr 2, 2008

    Does it seem kind of strange that such a detailed description was given? Most people, especially ones that have just been knocked over the head with a rock, have a hard time giving a general description, much less details down to the brand of boots and the designs on their back pockets. Just kind of...odd.

  • iamforjustice Apr 2, 2008

    Kudos to WRAL for including the full description of the alleged attacker!
    Do you realize how many Black males fit that description. I am one of them. Even to wearing Timbs. Unless this dude does something really stupid I doubt he will ever be apprehended. What could the motive possibly be? I wish they had cameras along these trails and better lighting. She should have stayed in Michigan. Too much crime in North Carolina.

  • corona29 is loving some Pliney Apr 2, 2008

    "I promise you these punks will not be there at 7am."

    Tell that to Eve Carson.

    What are you talking about?
    That poor girl was carjacked, kidnapped, and murdered during the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. while she was out driving her car.
    A most unfortunate thing to happen to a promising young women.

    I'm sorry ncman but I just dont see any correlation for you to have brought her name up; 7 a.m. daylight, public park while most are sleeping not 1-5 a.m. driving a car during night hours, when all the dregs of society are out looking for trouble.

  • oldschooltarheel Apr 2, 2008

    rd said, "As a single woman running around Lake Lynn yesterday, I was more frightened by the huge piles of horse caca left by the equestrian police unit than I was of anyone throwing rocks."

    That could change in an instant chick. Hope it doesn't for your sake b/c if horse manure frightens you, your life is much too sheltered for you to be anything other than a victim. Too California.

  • kmanc4s Apr 2, 2008

    Kudos to WRAL for including the full description of the alleged attacker!

  • twc Apr 2, 2008

    Here's an idea. Encourage some of the female leo to jog alone in some of the parks. I would love to see the expression on a perp's face when he not only gets his rear kicked but arrested on the spot! Now I'm feeling woozy!!!

  • ncman Apr 2, 2008

    "I promise you these punks will not be there at 7am."

    Tell that to Eve Carson.

  • peacebee Apr 2, 2008

    Floydturbo's comment about suspect description spurred me to ask...(I honestly don't know the answer so don't attack) is it really not 'PC' to state obvious physical traits in describing a suspect? I mean...if the guy had hot pink hair and freckles, would they likely not say that? And then in the line up, what if they had hauled in everyone with flaming pink hair, but no regard to the 'freckles' part...isn't skin color a relevant part of the description? Maybe I am weird, but if I am in a mixed crowd of people, and someone points me out as that freckled lady over there with red hair...it doesn't bother me. That's what I am...to be offended would suggest I was ashamed of it, wouldn't it? Now if they said that "Fat freckled lady"...I might kinda frown!

  • piperchuck Apr 2, 2008

    "Too bad the city won't allow licensed concealed handgun permit holders to bring their firearms onto the trails/greenways (where they might actually need them)."

    If a person allows someone to sneak up behind them and be hit on the head with a rock, a firearm isn't going to do much good, and could actually end up being used against the victim.

    As others have said, and as is taught in self-defense courses, situational awareness is the most important aspect of staying safe.

    Pay attention to what's going on around you.

    Don't act in a manner that says "victim".

    Be prepared to defend yourself, and/or flee, BEFORE the attacker can get to you.