AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police are searching for a man accused of grabbing a woman from behind and trying to pull down her shorts on an southeast Austin trail Wednesday morning.
The woman was running on the Ann and Roy Bulter Hike and Bike trail near the Krieg Softball Complex around 6:30 a.m. when the attack started, according to a release from APD.
The victim and attacker both fell down on the ground, and as the victim tried to get away she hit, punched and scratched the man. She was hurt as a result of the fight.
People who use that part of the trail said it’s often busy in the morning.
“You always see people out here running early in the morning before work,” said runner Jodee Stevens.
Self-defense coach Joshua Balok teaches women to be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations, then run away if you find yourself in one.
He said you should fight back only if an attack is unavoidable.
“A lot of times when an attacker is bludgeoned or becomes opened up as far as seeing their own blood, they’re less likely to carry out the attack,” Balok said.
The suspect was last seen running north on the trail after the attack, but the woman told police she wasn’t sure if he had any injuries. He is described as:
- Light-skinned male (Possibly White or Hispanic)
- About 5′ 6″
- Heavy build
- Last seen wearing a shirt with the sleeves cut off, light in color and possibly jeans
Austin police noted that the victim did a good job of fighting back and encourages anyone in this situation to:
- Fight, yell, scream, draw attention to the situation
- Exercise with a partner/group of people in well-lit areas if possible
- Avoid wearing earphones in both ears so you can hear what is happening
- Remain situationally aware about where you are and who is around
- Carry a cell phone
- Let others know what route you’re taking and when to expect you back
“It’s a fear that is common in a lot of women, especially nowadays,” said runner Toma Pangburn.
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.