CANTON, Ohio - An important warning is issued after a young woman was attacked in broad daylight while riding her bicycle on a popular, local hiking trail in Canton.
“It’s scary you never know what's going to happen any more,” said Amanda Nesbitt, who was at the park Monday with her daughter.
Stark Park Rangers say a female in her mid-twenties was biking along Middle Branch Trail between Martindale and Spangler Parks when a man approached her and asked her for the time.
The man then started assaulting the woman.
As the victim started screaming, the suspect grabbed her cellphone and took off.
Stark Park Rangers responded and began searching for the suspect with help from local law enforcement and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, but they were unable to find him.
The suspect is described as a white male, 35-40 years old, wearing a blue sweatsuit and bandanna. They say he has tattoos on both arms, some facial hair and might be a “known sexual offender.”
“I think it’s terrible,” said Miracle Love, who was at the park with her children Monday. “This is a beautiful park and I just feel like a person can’t even ride their bike without something happening”
Stark Park Rangers have posted signs with safety tips and are advising park users to: travel in pairs, always tell someone where you’re going, travel with a cellphone, don’t use earbuds or anything that can obstruct hearing, be aware of your surroundings, be wary of strangers and most importantly: always trust your instincts.
Rangers also say anything should suspicious should be reported immediately.