Cyclist Alena Owens says sexual attack on Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda, Md., shocked her

6:58 PM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) - The Capital Crescent trail is a popular trail for joggers and bikers. Sunday night it became the scene of a sexual assault.

Alena Owen bikes along it and said, "I am I am shocked, I have been riding my bike for a month never felt unsafe."

Police say a 21-year-old woman was on a run and stopped as a group of deer crossed the trail. When she did, she was hit in the back of the head, losing consciousness. 

Rebecca Innocenti is a spokesperson for Montgomery County Police. She says the runner was "certainly taken by surprise."
When the victim woke up she was in the woods.

Another jogger heard her cries for help and ran to her aid.

Detectives were back on the trail Monday as they continue their investigation.

As they look for the person responsible, they are telling people to be cautious. 

Innocenti says people get a sense of security because there are so many people, but it is important to remember safety tips.

It may seem like common sense, but keep in mind:

  • Run with a buddy if possible.
  • Carry a cell phone 
  • And try and go out when it's light outside, which might be a bit harder this time of year, because, Innocenti says, "You might not realize how quickly it can get darker."

And for so many who use headphones or earbuds, that distraction can prevent you from bring fully aware of your surroundings, so  lower the volume, or leave one in, one out.

Police are hoping once the victim recovers, they might be able to get more details from her.

They describe the suspect as a white male in his 20's.

If you have any information, please contact Montgomery County Police.

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