Local News

Woman reports sexual assault in Wake County park

Posted October 20, 2008 5:38 p.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2008 9:12 a.m. EDT

— A woman reported that two men attempted to sexually assault her on a walking trail in Yates Mill Park Monday afternoon, park officials said.

Two men attacked the woman around 2:45 p.m. in the park, off Lake Wheeler Road, in southwestern Wake County, Park Manager Rebeca Cope said. The victim told investigators that her assailants ran off when they heard a noise, Cope said.

The park was closed for about 1½ hours while sheriff's deputies and a police dog searched it and nearby neighborhoods for the assailants, Cope said. They made no arrests.

Phillip Powell said he was fishing in the park and saw the victim, who appeared to be in her 30s, taken away in an ambulance.

"She was pretty shocked, devastated," Powell said. "I hope she will be OK."

Sheriff's officials said the victim was recovering after being checked out a local hospital.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office has not released information about the incident. Officials would not say how many people were involved or release a description of the suspect or suspects.

Visitors said they were surprised to hear about the attempted assault in the park, with its miles of wooded walking trails and a historic mill.

"That's very shocking, actually, for this area," park visitor Amy Rager said. "I've been out here several times, and it's always been quiet and peaceful."

Rager said she turned around after park officials warned her that a woman had been attacked a couple hours earlier on the trail where she was walking with her 5-year-old son.

Cope said that park workers will conduct extra patrols on the trails, and the sheriff's office will deploy more deputies in the park as well.

"It makes it bad for everybody, because most people come out, exercise and jog, stuff like that," Powell said. "And it's just bad for everybody that comes out."