Tulsa Teenager Assaulted While Jogging Monday Morning

Monday, August 16th 2010, 12:23 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day and NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OK -- An attempted sexual assault occurred Monday morning at one of Tulsa's busiest city parks.

A 15-year-old was targeted while she was jogging just before 8 a.m. at Lafortune Park.

She got away safely, but the attack left her shaken up, joggers concerned and Tulsa Police calling for park users to always be on alert.

No one would have expected it to happen in a park so packed with people.

"A lot of people around, you wouldn't think that kind of thing would be going on here," said park user, Terry Whiteley.

"This young lady did very well, but she's very shaken up," said Sgt. Doug Brown, Tulsa Police Department.

You wouldn't expect it to happen. "Especially in broad daylight," said Susan Casper, park user.

Tulsa Police say the teen was jogging on the path at the park near Memorial High School at 5801 South Yale in Tulsa, Oklahoma and got separated from a friend. Suddenly, police say, a man grabbed her from behind.

"Put a hand around her mouth, she felt something hit her in the small of the back, and this guy implied that he had a weapon and told her to take her pants off," said Brown.

The teen refused, broke free, ran away and called for help.

"Out here, getting some exercise, enjoying the day, and 30 seconds later, she thinks she's about to have one of the worst experiences of her lifetime," said Brown.

Police officers weren't able to find the attacker.

News of the attempted assault is shocking to many people who use Lafortune Park.

"It's very scary," said Susan Casper.

Casper enjoys going with her daughter, Josephine, and their dog, Gus.

"I always have my dog, and I always have my phone, but I keep thinking I might put some mace or pepper spray on my keychain, and I think I might actually do that now," said Casper.

Tulsa Police say it's good for everyone to be alert, always jog with a partner and have a cell phone handy, just in case. They hope since the park was so busy, someone saw something that could help lead to the suspect.

"We had a lot of golfers on the course, we had a lot of joggers on the trail," said Brown.

"It's really sad, especially in a park like this," said Casper.

"We need to catch this guy before it happens again," said Brown.

Anyone with information that could help Tulsa Police is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 596-COPS.