EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A woman was attacked Tuesday afternoon on an Edwardsville bike trail, but was able to escape unharmed.
Lt. Michael Fillback with the Edwardsville Police Department says around 2:15 p.m. officers received a report that an 18-year-old woman was riding a bike on the Madison County Transit Nature Trail behind the 500 block of Chancellor when she was approached and grabbed by a man.
Fillback says the victim was approached by a man who came out of the woods and asked her to help him help his friend, who was still in the woods. When the victim followed the man, he grabbed her and they fell to the ground.
The victim was able to get away and get to her home. She suffered only a small scrape.
Fillback says the suspect was last seen running south into the Esic subdivision. He is described as a black male around 18 or 19-years-old, and standing about six-feet tall. He was last seen wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt and long black basketball shorts with a white stripe on the sides. He was carrying a black gym bag with a drawstring.
Police released a composite sketch of the man of interest, which can be seen below.
No other similar incidents have been reported in the area recently.
Police Sgt. Todd Ramirez says the trails are safe and this is an isolated incident.
"If someone is calling you saying they need assistance say fine I will call somebody for you and keep going," he said.
"I do ride out here all the time and it never occurred to me not to ride by myself," said cyclist Kelly Lapeire, who's now rethinking her exercise routine.
Lapeire says until the suspect is caught, she will be riding with a friend and looking over her shoulder.
"He could still be out here and could be waiting for other people and this trail is traveled a lot, and there's no one that could help you on this trail," she said.
Anyone with information should call the Edwardsville Police Department at 618-656-2131.