Police are investigating the assault of a Highland Park woman as she walked through Debs Park early Sunday morning.
The victim, a 38-year-old hairdresser , said she was grabbed, punched and forced to the ground by a man holding a knife during the assault that took place at about 6:30 a.m. while she walked on a trail with her dog. The man, who she had seen jogging earlier after parking her car near the Audubon Center at Debs Park, then ran off for unknown reasons. “I look up and he runs off,” said the woman who called 911 and later asked for assistance from two men on Avenue 52.
“I’m of course freaking out and in shock,” said the woman, who had been walking three to five times a week in Debs Park for the past year. “ I’ve never had a problem at Debs Park or any trail.”
Detective David Meza with the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division said he is investigating the crime, and the department is working on a composite drawing of the suspect. But “we have very little to go on,” he said. No similar attacks have been reported recently in Debs Park or the surrounding neighborhoods, he said. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Meza via email at [email protected]
The woman described the suspect as a male Latino in his early 20s to early 30s. He was about 5’8-5’10 tall and 140-170 pounds.
“I want the community to know about this so it does not happen again,” said the woman. “If the parking gates of Debs Park are closed that means the park is closed. As a woman, do not go up there alone.”