On Monday, November 25 at approximately 2:35 p.m., Greenville Police Communications (911) received a call for help from a female jogging on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Officers responded and located the victim on a section of the trail near the Caine Halter YMCA. The victim had visible injuries to her head and she told officers she was assaulted by an unidentified man walking on the trail.
From both witness and victim accounts, officers have determined that the victim was running on the trail when she was attacked from behind by a man described as a black male, 20-30 years-of-age, “shaggy” hair, and wearing a red bandanna over his face. During the encounter, the subject brandished a firearm and struck the victim in the head. After taking the victim’s phone – containing credit cards and cash – the subject fled on foot.
Officers quickly established a perimeter around the area and began a search with numerous officers and a police K9 but the team was unable to locate the subject. The victim was transported to an area medical facility and treated for her injuries.
While each situation is unique, we would like to offer the general safety tips below for trail users to take into consideration before venturing out onto the Swamp Rabbit Trail:
- Run with a friend or a dog
- Join a local running group
- Avoid using earbuds at high volume or anything else that prevents you from hearing what is going on around you
- If you have to run alone, let someone know where you are going and when you should be back
- Carry a cell phone with you
- Consider alternating your route
- Wear reflective clothing
- Notify the police department immediately if you see anything/anyone suspicious
In response to this incident the police department will have an increased officer presence along the trail over the next several days. The Greenville Police Department also encourages anyone who was on the trail Monday afternoon to contact investigators if they saw anyone matching the description above. Investigators also ask those living in the immediate area to view home security systems to determine if they captured the suspect fleeing the area.