SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A 20-year old man is behind bars, accused of trying to kidnap a woman along the Sioux Falls bike trail.
It happened early Sunday evening at Dunham Park in western Sioux Falls. The woman was able to fight back and escape.
Sioux Falls Police say the 18-year-old woman was jogging along the bike path at Dunham Park when she saw a man drive by in his car.
“She said the guy driving that car said something to her and kind of gave her a look and she didn’t think anything of it,” Sioux Falls Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said.
So, she continued on her run, but later spotted the man on the bike path walking towards her.
“He then started running next to her and grabbed a hold of her and basically put her in a bear hug and in the process he ended up groping her, which she described as very intentional,” Clemens said.
The woman fought back and was able to get away.
Investigators later arrested this man, 20-year-old Josue Lopez Cruz who’s now facing charges of stalking, simple assault and attempted kidnapping.
Police say the two didn’t know each other.
“No there’s no connection, this was a completely random act,” Clemens said.
Officers patrol the parks and bike trails throughout the day to keep people safe and say attacks like this are rare.
That’s comforting to those who use the bike trails, especially Brenda Anderson who is visiting from Des Moines and doesn’t know the area.
“I felt totally safe, and I love the trail I would recommend it to anybody, in fact, I texted my husband who is in a meeting and said I found this trail and I’m super excited and I feel so safe,” Anderson said.
Police want to remind people to be aware of your surroundings, walk-run-jog with two or more people and let others know your route and what time you will return.