Local News

Police Search for North Raleigh Park Attacker

Posted April 1, 2008 10:51 p.m. EDT
Updated April 1, 2008 11:33 p.m. EDT

— 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.