Austin police say they have arrested 22-year-old Richard McEachern who they say allegedly sexually assaulted a woman on the hike and bike trail on September 15.
Police say the victim was jogging around the end of Rainey Street when she heard loud steps behind her.
She says a man, whom police have identified as McEachern, grabbed her in a bear hug from behind causing her to fall. He then put a hand over her mouth. She says she was dragged for a bit, her shorts and shoes removed and then she was sexually assaulted.
During the assault another jogger heard her scream and flashed a light in her direction. He saw what was going on and pointed a gun at McEachern. McEachern took her shorts and shoes and ran away. He ran right by Colin Bell and two of his friends.
They posted their account of what happened on social media to warn others.
“He was kind of skipping along. He had what I thought was a smirk on his face. He looked like he was running away from somebody, but my thought at the time was kind of a friendly game of running away from somebody," Bell said. "That look is in my head. I can see his eyes, you know we made eye contact that kind of creepy smirk."
Bell and his friends searched the trail for him after figuring out what happened.
Police were alerted to the fact that McEachern was around the Mexican American Cultural Center. Officers pulled an image of him off security cameras and distributed it. On Monday, McEachern was located sleeping off the trail near the location of the assault and taken into custody.
The similarities of this crime resemble an incident that happened at Austin High School on August 22.
The victim in that case told police that a man grabbed her from behind in a bear hug while she was jogging on the track. She says he put a cloth over her mouth. She was able to get away.
Austin police say they are looking into whether the same person committed both crimes.