(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington police are stepping up patrols after a woman reported an assault along a popular pedestrian trail.
It happened Sunday afternoon, along the B-line trail, near Fairview and Adams Streets.
Police say a 23-year-old woman was rollerblading around 1:30 p.m., in a well-used portion of trail, when she saw a man ahead of her, and tried to move out of his way.
"Once she caught up with him, apparently he turned, tackled her to the ground, and started punching her in the head," explained Captain Joe Qualters with Bloomington Police. "Her fear was that it may have been an attempted sexual assault, because apparently he began pulling at her shorts as she was down on the ground."
But police say the assault lasted just a matter of seconds, because another person came up on the trail behind them, yelling at the man and calling 911.
The man ran off.
"It was very fortunate somebody else was on the trail in that particular area," said Qualters.
Qualters says police regularly patrol the trail, using ATV type vehicles, and by walking.
But, he says they'll step up patrols after this.
"It's very similar to the Monon, where you have a trail that's very heavily used. We certainly encourage people to use it. We believe the trail is very safe. and again, we do allocate resources to monitor the activity there," said Qualters.
Qualters says he believes situations like this are few and far between, and hopes people will continue to use the trail.
The suspect is described as a white man, late 20's, with a medium build. He had short brown hair and was wearing gray sweatpants.
Police say there's really nothing this victim could have done to prevent this attack, but they say it's worth the reminder.
Be prepared when exercising alone: bring a phone, a whistle or pepper spray.
Let someone know where you're going and when to expect you back.
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