Brushy Creek Trail attacker still at large

The Brushy Creek hike and bike trail is a popular spot for residents in Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Northwest Austin

Erin Rrinderknecht and a friend were among those on the trail Tuesday morning. "I have frequented this trail for the past eight years, and I've never been very concerned for my safety, I tell my friends how safe it is," said Rinderknecht.

That's now in question after a woman was attacked on the trail last Friday morning not far from the SH 183A overpass. She was pulled off the trail, according to investigators, and into the woods.

"Well, that does change things, maybe a little bit, I've always felt completely safe before, so," said Melanie McClure.

A small piece of crime scene tape remains where police closed off the trail as they unsuccessfully search for the attacker.

"I would assume Brushy Creek would be pretty safe and kind of away from that," said Ben Briggs who was out for a walk with a friend.

The description released from APD is vague and limited, only that the attacker has a beard, a stocky build, was wearing a dark green hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap. APD detectives declined to provide an on-camera update, but a police spokesperson did state they are actively taking steps to catch the suspect. 

Cedar Park police say patrol units are aware of the situation and have increased visibility in their section of the trail. Round Rock police say they are continuing with normal trail patrols with officers and a volunteer safety team. No Austin police patrols came by while FOX 7 was on the trail. 

Some of the people who spoke to FOX 7 offered a few ideas on safety upgrades they'd like to see and also offered a few ideas on how to stay safe while out on the trail.

"I think some call boxes, at least a few would be helpful, and you are running early, real early, or late in the evening, maybe a mace can, maybe a can of spray," suggested Ernest Caple who was walking the trial with his wife.

Until the suspect is caught, another suggestion was to always have someone with you while on the trail, including four-legged someones.

"And this is just a random thought, I have my pony tail down, now, that I'm with a friend, but Ive been told not to have your pony tail down because someone could grab that. And you have your phone. Yeah, but don't be distracted by your phone, either," said Erin Rinderknecht.

Austin police is asking anyone with information about the attack to contact them or Crimestoppers.

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