Woman attacked while jogging on Wabash Heritage Trail

West Lafayette police are awaiting DNA test results after a female was attacked and assaulted on a trail in West Lafayette over the weekend.

Posted: Jul 22, 2019 6:37 PM
Updated: Jul 22, 2019 6:37 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - West Lafayette police are awaiting DNA test results after a female was attacked and assaulted on a trail in West Lafayette over the weekend.

On Saturday, June 20th the unthinkable happened to a female jogger on the Wabash Heritage Trail System.
A male wearing gray shorts with no shirt approached the female and tried to sexually assault her just behind the Waste Water Treatment Plant. The offender then discarded her phone around 100 yards away from the scene. The 25-year-old victim managed to escape and contacted the West Lafayette Police Department, however, the offender is still on the run.

Student Austin Fortiner says he was in shock it happened so close to home.

"It's a little concerning just because you know...it's a college town," said Fortiner.

WLPD is telling the public to walk in groups and that WLPD is actively patrolling the area to keep people safe.

Student Duncan Smith says this leaves him with a bitter feeling because of how close he lives to the scene.

"There are just people, that aren't good people that try to take advantage of whoever they can, whenever they can and it's heartbreaking," said Smith. "Try not to be going places alone- especially at night, this is something I will be hesitant to do from now on," added Smith.

Smith described the weekend as all too quiet and was surprised to hear of the crime.

"I was feeling perfectly safe over the weekend and knowing people were not, it makes me feel bad, as well as the fact that I didn't know anything until a stranger had to tell me," said Smith.

Student Steph Hunter says she's worried people will be too scared to enjoy the trail after the news came out.
"It's a great trail, I don't think people should necessarily be scared, I don't think it should stop anyone from getting good exercise, but definitely be on the lookout," said Hunter.

Lt. Jonathan Eager says they take these incidents personally and added 7 extra police officers to the scene on Saturday evening. Eager says they are searching for surveillance cameras that surrounded the area to get a better picture of the offender.

The victim described the male looked to be 5'8 with short hair, no facial hair, and a slim build.
He was reported wearing gray shorts with white boxer briefs, white socks, black tennis shoes, no shirt, and possibly a black bandana.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the West Lafayette Police Department at (765) 775-5200 or the WeTip hotline at 1-800-78 CRIME. Please direct all media questions to Lt. Jonathan Eager at (765) 413-1629 or jeager@wl.in.gov.

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