AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Police Department Sex Crimes Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect wanted for the attempted sexual assault of a woman near the Krieg Softball Complex. The victim was running on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail when she grabbed from behind.
“Anybody should be able to run anywhere by themselves. We wish that that was just the way the world was. Unfortunately, there are cowards that will sit here and wait for people to be by themselves that they think are vulnerable,” said Iram Leon, president of the Austin Runners Club.
The victim was attacked in the 500 block of South Pleasant Valley Road, across from the Krieg Softball Complex, around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 25. According to police, the suspect grabbed the victim from behind and attempted to pull down her shorts.
They both fell to the ground at which time the victim sustained visible injuries during a physical altercation with the suspect.
The suspect ran north on the trail after the attack, according to the victim.
“I think it is concerning. It would be great to be able to feel free to run in the morning without fear, so, it's a huge bummer to hear about that,” said Lynden, an Austin jogger.
The suspect description is vague due to the lighting during the assault, according to police. It is unknown at this time whether the suspect sustained injuries, but the victim did report striking, punching and possibly scratching the suspect.
“I do think lighting would definitely help. If the woman said that was an issue, for sure that would be incredible to have lighting in the morning just for everyone's safety,” Lynden said.
Austin police encourage everyone to run with a friend or in a group to deter criminals from targeting them.
“The common denominator has been that it's a woman running by herself and women should be able to do that, but no one who's ever been running with company has this happened to,” said Leon.
The Austin Runners Club said they post group running events online and can help people find a running buddy.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the APD Sex Crimes Unit at 512-974-5230 or 9-1-1 if you see this suspect. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD, for free on iPhone and Android.