Sexual assault reported on Augusta Canal Trail

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UPDATE (WJBF): A witness describes to NewsChannel 6 what he saw after a young woman told him she was attacked while on a run at the Augusta Canal Trail near Lake Olmstead.

The man told NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne he wanted to share his side of the story because of all the posts he has seen on social media that blame the victim or discredit her story. He says he hopes his first hand account makes those posts stop.

“When I saw the young lady, she was visibly shaken and you could tell something had happened to her. The bushes that she came out of were at least 3 to 4 feet high and that’s a snake infested area. I don’t think she would have taken that way if not,” says the witness who asked to remain anonymous.

He asked the young woman if the guy was still in the woods and she said “yes.”

“By the time she said that about 125 yards up the road, a black male pushing a bike came out of the woods,” the witness recounts. “I said, is that him. She said, “yeah,”

The man says he ran after the suspect and yelled for him to stop at least 5 times. The witness was on foot and he says the suspect was on a bike.

“He would look back and then he would keep pedaling.”

The witness says he saw another jogger coming from the opposite direction so he yelled for that man to help.

“I yell at him, ‘stop that guy, he just attacked a girl!”

The witness says the second jogger took off to chase the suspect. At this point, both joggers were trying to catch up with him.

“The suspect makes the bend right by the pump house. The other jogger that was in front of me that I asked to chase him lost sight of him. We think he hid in the woods. That’s what we thought ’cause that guy was right behind him so he just disappeared,” the witness says. “I never got close enough to him to see actually his face.”

The witness tells NewsChannel 6 he stayed in the area and looked for the suspect for about an hour. He looked to see if possibly he ditched the bike, but did not see the bike, nor the suspect. He also says he told deputies that he believed the suspect was still in the woods.

“The girl was so upset that you knew something had happened to her,” the witness says. “Nobody could be that good of an actress. I mean, I could tell that something had happened to her when I saw her come out of the woods and she looked at me. I believe her story just for the fact that the guy came out of the woods and I saw him,”

The man hopes his description of what he saw silences the many comments from people who say the victim did something wrong, is at fault or made the story up.

“Hopefully, that will settle some of this that they’re talking about this girl because I do truly believe she is a victim. There was a guy and there was a bike and he was told five times to stop and he never stopped,”

The witness asks a rhetorical question to further prove his point. He asks, if the suspect did nothing wrong, then why did he keep pedaling when he saw two people chasing him and telling at him to stop?

Investigators say they are looking for a man who meets the following description:

  • Black Male
  • Height: 5’9″ to 5’10”
  • Weight: 180 to 200 pounds
  • Age: 40 to 50 years
  • Short curly black beard &short black hair.
  • The night of the reported attack he was said to have on a red shirt, blue jeans and a blue hat and had a dark-colored mountain bike.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Richmond County Deputies are searching for a suspect in an attempted rape on a jogger.

Investigators say the victim was jogging on the Augusta Canal Trail approximately one mile from the entrance on Milledge Road at Lake Shore Loop near Lake Olmstead Stadium on Wednesday around 5 p.m.

The incident report states that she was then reportedly hit from behind by an unidentified black man, described as 5’9″ in height, 180 to 200 pounds, 40 to 50 years of age with a short curly black beard and short black hair. He was reportedly wearing a red shirt, blue jeans and a blue hat.

The suspect then allegedly told the victim to get out of the road. He then came up behind her, put his hands on her breasts and picked her up.

He then reportedly grabbed her by the wrists and started asking ‘are you going to give me something?’ She then tried to get away but he threatened to ‘snap her neck’.

The report states she tried to make a phone call but he grabbed the phone out of her hand. She then started hitting him. The suspect loosened his grip enough for her to get free and run. After grabbing her phone back, she reportedly ran back to the trail and found another person running the trail. This witness then chased the suspect.

The witness told investigators that the suspect fled on a bike.

Investigators say the attack appeared to be sexually motivated and is being investigated as an attempted rape.

The victim was stated to have suffered minor injuries.

The suspect was last seen fleeing on a dark color mountain bike.

If you have any information on the suspect, please call 706-821-1080

New information about Augusta Canal Trail sexual assault case. Ashley Osborne WJBF is live there now.

Posted by WJBF NewsChannel 6 on Friday, July 26, 2019

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