Police: Teen jogger attacked in Fairmount Park

April 12, 2011 5:32:31 AM PDT
Police are investigating an attack along a popular spot for joggers in Fairmount Park.

Investigators say the most alarming aspect of the case is how brazen the attacker was by brutalizing a female teenage runner in broad daylight along a jogging path in Valley Green.

"This young gal was in a pretty remote area by herself this morning and this perpetrator used that opportunity to attack her," Philadelphia Police Captain John Darby said.

Investigators want to hear from anyone with information about people that might have been spotted in the area matching the suspect's description:
*Hispanic man
*Thin build
*Broad shoulders
*Wearing dark hoodie
*Wearing dark pants

The 17-year-old victim told investigators she was finishing up her 20 minute run at around 8:30 a.m. when the attacker jumped from the woods and tackled her.

The attacker tried holding her down while pulling at her clothing.

Investigators say the victim was able to break free and run a short distance before finding a group of people along Forbidden Drive.

There was no sexual assault, but police are going to examine the teen's clothing to see if there was any evidence left behind.

Richard Orr of South Philadelphia says he was there when police arrived and saw the victim covered in mud with cuts and scratches on her legs and arm; she was shaking.

"I saw the mud all over. It looked like she fell down the side of a mountain, I thought that's what happened, and they say some guy attacked her," Orr said.

The part of Fairmount Park where the attack occurred is a very popular spot for joggers and families. Those along the trail were alarmed by the news.

"This is where I take my kids, we all go running here, it's supposed to be safe, and it's scary cause where are you supposed to go and feel safe?" Lisa Root of Germantown said.

The victim told investigators she saw the attacker before she began running.

At this time, Captain Darby says police are not connecting this incident with the series of assaults and 1 murder linked to the Fairmount Park rapist case which has yet to be solved.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Philadelphia Police Department.