Woman Escapes Attempted Sexual Assault on Murdock Trail

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Lincoln Police are on the lookout for a man they say tried to assault a woman on a popular city trail.

Around 5:15 p.m. Friday, Officer Katie Flood says the 25-year-old woman was running on the Murdock Trail just east of 84th Street in Lincoln when she was attacked.

"An unknown man grabbed her from behind and grasped her arms and shoulders, then tried to push her into some nearby bushes," said Flood.

LPD says the man attempted to grab her twice, even picking her up, but say she was able to get away before running for help.

Ann Ringlein, an avid runner and track and cross country coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University, was biking on the trail just minutes after the attack and watched the investigation unfold.

"I rode around it and I stopped, and I kind of told them I was coming," said Ringlein. There was a police officer and sheriff's deputy and a scent dog. They said there was an attempted assault."

Ringlein frequents that trail weekly and says the isolated trail can be an easy target for runners.

"It definitely came to mind, this is why I don't run out here alone," said Ringlein. "This is why I always have my husband on a bike, or I have my dog, or I'm with friends."

But Ringlein says even busy trails should be taken with caution.

"You see someone that makes you a little nervous, there's probably a reason and you should turn around and go back," said Ringlein. "There is a reason that the hair on your neck gets turned up."

Despite Friday's assault, Ringlein says not using the trails around the city is the worst thing you can do.

"We want to be on the trails because if we're not, more people like that are going to be on thinking it's an empty trail," said Ringlein. "I think you still go out, that's a wonderful trail, you just need somebody with you."

Police are looking for a white man, around 20 years old, between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 10, with brown hair and eyes.


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