AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police need your help finding a suspect who allegedly put a woman in a chokehold while she was out walking her dogs in south Austin.
Austin Police said a woman was walking her dogs on July 17 at around 10 p.m. near the 3800 block of South Second Street on South Center Street.
The woman wrote about her experience in a social media post. She said she was out later than normal, but she walks around the neighborhood often, usually around sunset.
APD Detective Steven Krippner said the woman was looking at her phone when an unknown man came up behind her and put her in a “chokehold.”
Krippner said, “He surprised her. Put her in that headlock for approximately five seconds. She described ducking out of it, which in [these] circumstances, we’ve been trained to do, which he responded to negatively and ran away.”
The woman said in her post, she was able to use her self-defense training to get out of the chokehold.
Police said the woman had minor injuries and complained of some pain.
The suspect ran away, and “was last seen westbound on South 2nd Street area,” according to APD.
The search for the suspect is ongoing
The woman described the suspect as a stocky, broad, muscular man who was either white or Hispanic. She said he was about 5’4″ or 5’5″ tall. He had a tan complexion with short, dark hair and straight cut sideburns. She also said he had a round chin, hairy arms and was wearing a dark-colored baseball cap, long dark shorts and a grey T-shirt. She said he appeared to be well-groomed, police said.
“It’s just a reminder to all of us, when you go out, share your locations, let you friends and neighbors know you’re going out on a jog or walk,” said Steven Rivas who lives in the neighborhood.
He said it is common for people to be out and about walking, jogging or biking. “You feel safe when you see your neighbors walking their dogs and their children all around the area,” he said.
Rivas said he’s glad the woman alerted the neighbors almost right away by writing about the attack.
“What an incredible act of bravery that she was able to immediately protect herself and also let the neighbors know what happened,” he said. “We all take care of each other in this day and age.”
In the post, the woman said she encourages everyone to learn and practice self-defense.
Austin police Detective Steven Krippner said the case was initially being investigated last week as a kidnapping, but officials determined it didn’t have all the elements required for that classification. As a result, it was reclassified as an assault.
There were no HALO cameras in the area that captured the assault, and officials couldn’t find any private surveillance footage either.
Police are now looking to the public for information to identify the suspect. Anyone who might know something about the suspect is asked to contact APD Detective Steven Krippner at (512) 974-6277.
See the full APD press conference below: