Woman attacked in fifth Anchorage trail assault of summer

Posted: Friday, August 22, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A woman was attacked by a man on a bicycle as she jogged on Anchorage's coastal trail, police said.

The incident Thursday is the fifth reported attack this summer on the city's trail system.

The woman told police dispatchers she was running on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail about 9:30 a.m. when the man tried to grab her near Lyn Ary Park downtown.

The woman got away unharmed and called police using a passerby's cell phone. Police did not immediately interview the woman because she left the scene, said Detective John McKinnon, who is handling the case.

The man was described as a short, Native male adult riding a dark-colored 10-speed bicycle. He was wearing blue jeans and a black sweatshirt, police said.

McKinnon said the man's description, and the type of bike he was riding, matches that from an attack that occurred near the same park on June 30.

It also matches the description of a man who was reported to be acting suspiciously on June 17 in the area, he said. In that case, the man leered at passing women and kept going back and forth between the woods and a park bench, McKinnon said.

Several police officers canvassed the area after the call from the woman, McKinnon said. The man was not located.

With so many attacks this summer, Mayor Mark Begich's office is developing a volunteer trail patrol program. More details about the program, called Trail Watch, are expected to be released the first week in September.

In the meantime, additional officers will be patrolling the downtown trails in an attempt to identify the man, police said.

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