Local News

16-year-old jogger attacked on Durham trail

Posted May 30, 2016 11:56 a.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2016 10:21 p.m. EDT

— Durham police are investigating after a teenager was assaulted Sunday on the Ellerbee Creek Trail.

According to the Durham Police Department, a 16-year-old was jogging when she was approached by a man at about 8 p.m. between the 500 block of Knox Street and Club Boulevard. Police said the man attempted to grab the woman and a struggle ensued.

Will Glenn with the Durham Police Department said other people on the trail noticed the struggle and assisted the teen.

The jogger sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the assault and was checked out at a local hospital for precautionary measure.

Investigators are searching for the suspect, who is described as black with a dark complexion and beard. He was wearing a green T-shirt with “Gucci” written on the front and blue jeans at the time of the assault.

Debra Billieux Hawwkins is president of a nearby neighborhood association and said she is concerned about the incident.

"I really want people to feel safe on our walkways and our trails and I want people who want to use alternative forms of transport to feel that they have an excellent, safe network for themselves and their families and their kids," she said.

Hawkins said she is concerned attacks on the trail are happening too frequently. Last year, two attacks were reported within a month of each other. In one of those attacks, a woman was choked and sexually assaulted.

“I’m hoping that the city is aware and trying to work out ways that we can address this,” Hawkins said.

Police are reminding people to be aware of their surroundings, remain in well-lit areas, always carry a cell phone and never walk while wearing earbuds.

Claudine Caro spends quite a bit of time walking the trail and said news of the attack has made her think twice about her routine.

“It makes me think of where I walk and the times in which I walk and who knows who I am,” she said. "During the evening hours, I do walk with a friend. If it's late and I'm by myself, I'll stay within my neighborhood and probably not venture off farther than that."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.