Local News

Police: Woman sexually assaulted weeks after another attack on Durham trail

Posted November 12, 2015 1:29 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2015 5:22 p.m. EST

— Durham police are investigating a violent sexual assault that was reported Wednesday night on the Ellerbe Creek Trail near Washington Street and West Club Boulevard.

According to investigators, the victim was walking on the trail at about 6:15 p.m. when a man came up behind her, choked her into unconsciousness and pulled her into the woods, where he sexually assaulted her.

The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment, and police said she was unable to provide a description of her attacker.

A separate incident was also reported on the trail on Oct. 22.

A woman told officer she was walking on the trail near Dacian Avenue at about 5:15 p.m. when a man came up behind her and choked her. He did not sexually assault her, police said.

Kim Hernandez lives nearby and said she is shocked by the attacks.

"Runners take (the trail), female runners take (the trail) without any trouble, without any sense of I need to look behind my back," she said. "It is unusual. It is not expected and it is a concern."

Police said the man's hair was described as a short afro that was dyed in the front to "look like a cheetah."

The suspect was described as a black male wearing black jogging pants, a white tank top and a blue and red hat. He was about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a muscular build. He weighed about 140 to 150 pounds.

Anyone with information about either of the two incidents should call Durham Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

Police also shared the following personal safety tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Call 911 to report any suspicious activities
  • Do not walk alone
  • Try to remain in well-lit areas
  • Trust your instincts
  • Do not walk/run with earbuds or headphones
  • Bring a cellphone