Woman scares off attacker on Freedom Park Trail - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Woman scares off attacker on Freedom Park Trail


It's happened again. Another woman has reported an attack on an area trail.

The most recent incident was reported on the Freedom Park Trail in northeast Atlanta, near the intersection of North Avenue and Euclid.

Pearl Ryder told CBS46 News she was jogging on the trail around 10:30 a.m. Monday when she heard something from behind her.

She spun around and came face-to-face with a man, who had emerged from the woods.

"As soon as I turned around, he grabbed for me, so I backed up as quickly as I could," said Ryder.

Unbeknownst to the man, Ryder had recently taken a crisis intervention class and knew what to do.

"I started yelling as loudly as I could ... and I put my hands up in front of me to protect myself and be ready," she said.

Aerial view of attack area from Google Maps:

Click for full map


Ryder said the man, clean-cut and wearing a gray shirt and jeans, never said a word.

Apparently the commotion startled him, giving Ryder a chance to run away.

The incident comes just weeks after two women, in separate events, were attacked.

Recent trail attack locations:

Click for full map

Someone beat Tina Waddell, 42, unconscious on the Silver Comet Trail in Paulding County on July 29. There have been no arrests.

Just a week later, an 18-year-old was attacked by a man with a stun gun on the Iron Hill Trail at Red Top Mountain Park in Bartow County.

When asked if these cases could be related, Kim Jones, spokeswoman for the Atlanta Police Department, said, "No, not at this time we don't."

Jones said since the attack on Freedom Park Trail, patrols have increased in the area.

She said the most recent incident should also serve as a reminder to follow other safety precautions.

"Find a buddy to jog with; don't jog at night," Jones said.

Both Jones and Ryder also recommend not wearing headphones when you run.

Ryder said she normally does but had recently lost hers. She said she's really glad she did not have them on Monday.

"I could hear him come behind me. And I realized that he was chasing me before he was able to do something from behind me," Ryder said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there had been no arrests.

CBS46 News spoke to a woman who lives along the trail who said she reported a suspicious urban camper in the area harassing young girls.  The woman, who did not want to be identified, showed an e-mail she sent to city leaders detailing what happened.  Despite her complaints, nothing happened.  Since the attack the woman said she has not seen the urban camper in the area.

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