Rochester man accused of assaulting woman on Douglas Trail
(ABC 6 News) – According to the Rochester Police Department (RPD), a 30-year-old female from Rochester was assaulted on the Douglas Trail, Sunday, July 16th around 1:00 p.m.
The woman told police she had parked her car at the Valley High Dr. NW trail access parking lot, and started walking north on the trail with her dog. When crossing the 41st St. pedestrian bridge, she noticed her dog looking at a wooded area.
Police say, the woman looked to see what her dog was looking at and spotted a man sitting cross-legged in the tree line. She then called her husband, saying she saw someone on the trail, and turned around to walk back towards her car.
According to RPD, when she turned to see if the man was still there, he stood up and ran towards her, unzipping his sweatshirt. The man then allegedly grabbed her between the legs and made a comment. The woman yelled at him to get away and that she was calling the police, the suspect then fled on foot.
When officers arrived to the parking lot, they searched the area for the suspect.
Around 1:49 p.m., a call to dispatch reported a naked male on the Douglas Trail near the area where the assault took place. Officers responded and located Ryan Anderson, 46, of Rochester, who had a sweatshirt that matched the description provided by the woman.
Police also say he was displaying irrational behavior.
“There have been incidents like this. Luckily, they are few and far between though. It’s rare that cases like that happen, but they do happen,” said Lt. Paul Gronholz with RPD.
Frequent users of the Douglas Trail say they were shocked to hear what happened on Sunday.
“I mean we were just like ‘lets go for a walk on the trail’ and we had no idea what had just happened,” said 18-year-old Margaret Drucker. “I don’t have any pepper spray or anything like that on me, I probably should.”
Now Drucker, along with her friend Abigail Delvianco, say that this situation serves as a scary reminder about the importance of safety.
“It’s definitely scary to think about being a young women in Rochester. You never have to worry about that when you’re younger, but when you grow up it feels more real,” said Delvianco.
Both Drucker and Delvianco are off to college this fall and they say they have a few more things to buy before they go.
“I think before we leave we should invest in some kind of protection because you never know,” said Drucker.
Anderson was arrested and RPD is referring charges of 5th degree criminal sexual conduct, 5th degree assault, and disorderly conduct.
Lt. Gronholz is reminding the public of tips to keep you and your loved ones safe. He says always make sure someone knows where you are, keep your phone on you at all times, and try to put as much distance between yourself and the threat as you can.
Lt. Gronholz also says in this case, the victim did everything she could have to prevent the situation from escalating.