Lehigh Valley

Police: Jogger attacked on popular trail in Easton

Police: Jogger attacked on popular trail in Easton

EASTON, Pa. - A woman was attacked Tuesday while running in broad daylight on a popular trail in Easton, police said.

Many people use the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, and all were shocked Wednesday upon hearing about the attack near the Willie Cole Grace Gate.

"I've been running on this trail for a couple of years and never had any problems," said Tom Hampsey, of Bethlehem.

"I'm very surprised," said Virginia Russo, of Easton. "For the most part I've always felt very safe here."

Easton police said the attack took place Tuesday afternoon while a 40-year-old woman was running on the trail. They said a man grabbed the woman, threw her to the ground and punched her. Fortunately, the woman was able to fend off the attacker.

"Usually, a fair number of people here, but on any given day you could be alone for a stretch of time," said Hampsey.

Easton police are looking for a Hispanic man in his late teens to early 20s, standing approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 180 to 190 pounds. He has dark, spike-style hair and was last seen wearing a red shirt and black jeans and carrying a black string-style backpack.  

"I hope that they catch the guy and make everybody who does feel unsafe, safer," said Russo.

There are also steps you can take to protect yourself. Bart Yasso, chief running officer for Runner's World, said never run alone, if possible. If you do run alone, stay in populated areas. Don't listen to music if running alone so you can hear your surroundings, and always tell someone where you are running.

Some do run with pepper spray or always carry their phone, which are two other good things, according to Yasso.

If you have any information regarding the case, call the Easton Police Department.

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