Woman allegedly sexually assaulted in East Charlotte Greenway;  CMPD looking for suspect

Woman allegedly sexually assaulted in East Charlotte Greenway; CMPD looking for suspect

A woman was taken to a hospital following an alleged sexual assault near the McAlpine Creek Greenway in east Charlotte on Wednesday morning, police said.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the greenway around noon, where a large Charlotte-Mecklenburg police presence could be seen near Margaret Wallace Road and Independence Boulevard.

According to MEDIC, the assault victim has minor injuries and was taken to a hospital in Matthews. Channel 9 is working to get the updated status of the woman.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, police said a woman was walking around at around 11 am when she said a man assaulted her and tried to remove her clothes in an attempt to rape her. The victim was able to fight the suspect and call 911, officials said.

Police said it appears to be a random attack.

“During the fight, she started to struggle a little bit. She was able to grab her cell phone, alert for help, and notify 911 that officers responded,” said Cpt. Jim Wright.

The police initially had the entrance to the greenway blocked, but it has since reopened.

ALSO READ: Abduction of Eliza Fletcher: Bond Overturned by Suspect

The CMPD said they are looking for a heavyweight male who is around 5 feet 6 inches tall. He is described as having braided hair and was wearing black clothing. Police said the suspect may also have injuries to his face or hands from where the victim reacted.

Anyone with information about where the suspect may be should contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

CMPD said it will have extra patrols in the area and on the greenway.

“We would like to put out, anyone walking around at any time – be aware of your surroundings, know where you are going, let someone know where you are going, have a cell phone if necessary, call 911 on anyone suspicious ”. said Wright.

Channel 9’s Hannah Goetz spoke to a group of women walking on the greenway the Wednesday morning after the attack took place. The incident made many people she spoke to think twice before she was alone on the greenway.

“I just try to stay alert. I always look back and I’m not on my phone because that’s the first thing that distracts us,” said one woman.

ALSO READ: CMS files motion to file 2016 sexual assault lawsuit

Channel 9’s Glenn Counts spoke to Makayla Newman with the NoDa Run Club on Wednesday night. Newman told Counts that she has been running since high school.

Newman said the incident at McAlpine Creek Greenway caught his attention. “It’s something that bothers me, bothers most women,” Newman said.

She said the club has been thinking a lot more about security lately after the kidnapping and murder of Memphis runner Eliza Fletcher.

The club held a moment of silence for Fletcher and said Wednesday night’s race was dedicated to her.

“As a running community, we all realize the dangers of going out for a run. This danger is even more significant for women runners,” said Zachery Colburn, club organizer.

Newman said she doesn’t want to give in to fear and sometimes runs alone. She acknowledged that she was put in some uncomfortable situations.

“I was booed as I ran and walked; and it doesn’t bother me too much, but it kind of reminds me that I’m not necessarily safe if this goes wrong,” Newman said.

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