A woman reported being grabbed and “flashed” Tuesday by a man on the S&S Greenway walking trail, and police want to know whether anyone else had similar encounters.
The female victim was jogging on the trail between Gentilly and Cawana roads around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday when “she was approached by a young male, possibly Hispanic, in his early twenties with a black goatee,” said Statesboro Police Capt. Jared Akins. The man was wearing a “white ‘puffy’ jacket, black skinny jeans, and a black flat billed hat.”
The victim said he tried to get her to engage in conversation, “asking if she had a boyfriend, and then asked her if she wanted to go with him in the direction of Cawana Road,” Akins said.
When the woman told the suspect “no,” he grabbed her forearm. The woman told police she then “punched the suspect’s shoulder.”He let go of her arm and exposed his genitals before walking away into the woods towards Cawana Road, he said.
Several responding officers searched the area on foot and on patrol, but did not find a man matching the suspect’s description.
Police want to know if others have had similar encounters with the suspicious man, who “may have approached other female joggers in the area as well,” Akins said.
He urged people to be cautious when enjoying the trail or any other public space.
“While the S&S Greenway walking trail is a popular spot for those seeking fresh air and exercise, it is important to remain vigilant,” he said. “Be mindful of individuals approaching you as you exercise and take care in areas where persons could conceal themselves.”
He suggested carrying a cell phone while exercising, in case of emergency, and exercise with others when possible. “If you are approached by a suspicious person while on the trail, get to a place of safety and contact 911.”
Anyone who may have had an encounter with the suspect, who can identify him, or know where he came from or went, is asked to call Statesboro Police at 912-764-9911.