AUSTIN - Austin police are ramping up early morning patrols on Lady Bird Lake's Hike-and-Bike Trail after another woman was attacked while jogging.
Police said the latest incident occurred Wednesday just before 7 a.m. A woman was running in the 1700 block of Lakeshore Boulevard near Little Bee Creek when she was grabbed from behind by a man she said smelled of sweat.
The victim told police the man spoke Spanish to her and attempted to take her into the bushes. However, police said the woman was able to fight off her attacker and escape.
The suspect, described as a Hispanic man in his 40s without facial hair, fled in the opposite direction, police said.
The victim told police the man had a dark skin complexion with a greasy sheen on his face and dark hair. He was about 5-foot-11, and was last seen wearing baggy shorts, a hoody with the hood up and tennis shoes.
Police said this is the third attack to happen involving a female jogger since the end of August. This latest case and a reported attack at Austin High School's track remain unsolved.
Austin police said they are implementing plans to stop incidents like this from happening.
Beginning at 4 a.m., night shift officers in the Central and Downtown area will begin performing patrols around the entire Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, as well as the Zilker Park Trail. Police said they'll be looking for any suspicious persons, and addressing them as needed.
Along with more patrol units, Austin police are also starting a "Run with a Cop" program that utilizes the SWAT team. Officials said it will run a couple days a week.
"[It's] an attempt to keep the trails safe, and have a heightened presence on the trails, while we work to solve these most recent incidents that have occurred," Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.
Chief Manley also stressed the importance of early morning runners using the buddy system.
"It's safest to run in groups. There is strength in numbers. If you have the ability to run in a group, then we highly recommend that you do so," Manley said.
Anyone with information on the attacks is asked to contact Austin police at 512-974-5095.
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