Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
Dallas police are investigating if an attempted kidnapping at Lake Cliff Park Tuesday morning is related to a sexual assault at the same location earlier this year.
There’s fear on local trails Tuesday after a Dallas woman was attacked while out for a morning jog.
A woman told police a man tried to snatch her from Lake Cliff Park off Zang and Colorado boulevards in North Oak Cliff as she jogged just after sunrise Tuesday.
The woman said she saw the man sitting on a bench near a wooded, more secluded area of the trail. As she approached, the man stepped in front of her and grabbed her shoulders. She managed to escape the man's clutches and get away, police said, by screaming and slapping the man.
A nearby construction worker also came to her rescue.
Officers searched the area for someone matching the man's description, but so far have made no arrests. Police described the man as Hispanic, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, about 250 pounds and between 25 and 30 years of age. He was wearing a dark hat, bright blue shirt, blue jeans and was wearing a dark backpack.
The attempted kidnapping has other park-goers on edge.
“It’s really quite frightening,” said walker Julie Reed. “It’s disturbing. You do see a lot of people. I suspect there’s actually homeless people living in the woods there. I hope my big dog is a deterrent.”
Reed goes to Lake Cliff Park daily to walk her dog, Romeo. She fears that the trees that provide her and her dog shade may have also provided a cover for the woman's attacker Tuesday morning.
“It’s very sad, because we should be able to walk freely to do what we need to do to keep ourselves healthy. I hope that lady comes out OK,” said walker Maria Morales.
Morales said, for her safety, she always walks in the more open area of the park off Colorado Boulevard. She insists she and other regulars share information about anyone suspicious.
“She told me a car had stopped and was looking at her. She said keep an eye out for me. It’s sad. It’s the daytime, we should be safe here. I do usually walk in this part you can see from the street,” said Morales.
Police are investigating if Tuesday's attack is connected a Jan. 14 rape at the park. Police say a man raped a woman at gunpoint at the same time of day as Tuesday's incident.
NBC 5's Lindsay Wilcox contributed to this report.