60-Year-Old Woman Was Attacked While Exercising On A Trail At Valley Stream State Park

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A rapist was on the run on Monday following a brutal attack in a Long Island park.

Police released a sketch of the suspect that they hoped would lead to his capture, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Valley Stream State park was bustling with bikers, joggers, and walkers on Labor Day but park goers said that the holiday was marred by an unsettling fear.

“It never crossed my mind that violence could happen in this park,” Joe LaGrassa said.

The park’s tranquility was shattered on Sunday morning when a 60-year-old woman was raped during an exercise walk on a wooded trail. Park Police said that the man jumped the woman as she walked past him on the Children’s Explorer Trail.

“She’s walking on the trail. Sees the suspect and the incident occurs pretty much immediately,” Police Chief Richard O’Donnell said.

The woman was not only sexually assaulted but was choked and injured as well, sources told CBS 2.

On Monday police released a sketch of the suspect who was described as a black male between the ages of 25 and 35. He is 5’7″ with a thin build, short hair, and braids on the sides of his head.

Visitors said that the attack would factor into their future plans.

“It changed my safety. I would not come here with out a group. it would not be safe at all,” Sourelle Badio said.

Authorities canvassed the area asking visitors if they noticed anything on Sunday and have been out patrolling in force. One woman brought her own protection.

“I got the dog spray that the mail men use. I said I’m going to put it in my pocket. You never know,” said Marguerite Westbrook.

The park was well attended on Sunday morning. State Park and Nassau County Police were asking anybody who recognized the man in the sketch to contact them.

Police continued the search on Sunday using K9 units and choppers but could not locate the suspect.

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