Raleigh rattled by attack on woman at Lake Johnson

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Runners were pairing up for safety.

On the running trails that surround this peaceful Raleigh oasis, there was shock about the news of an assault Monday morning on Lake Johnson.

According to Raleigh Police, a 35-year old woman was standing near the edge of the lake off Avent Ferry Road at 9 a.m. when she says a man she did not know suddenly grabbed her shirt.

She was able to escape from the man's grasp - only suffering some minor cuts and scrapes. She called police. But the suspect got away.

Hours after the attack, most runners and walkers along the trails were out in pairs for safety's sake, but found the news unnerving.

"It's scary being a woman for sure," said Kendall Taylor who was walking her dogs with her husband Andrew. "I always come out with dogs. I try to come out with (Andrew). It makes me think twice about coming out here alone for sure."

Sophia Russell was utilizing the trail for the first time; powerwalking with her friend. "Oh my god, yeah (it's scary), because I don't even have my cell phone on me," said Russell. "So, it's you know, what if that were me and I didn't have my cell and just out for a walk. So it's good to walk in pairs."

The victim described the suspect as a dark-skinned black man, about 5' 8" tall, wearing a black baseball cap, a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-HELP.

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