ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Trails stretching between Tramway and Juan Tabo in the Bear Canyon Arroyo draw numerous runners, joggers and dog walkers every day, but for one woman a late afternoon run on Sunday took a traumatic turn when she was sexually assaulted.
She was then forced to go to a second location behind the John B. Robert Dam on Juan Tabo and Osuna NE where she was assaulted again, possibly by a man who lives in the area, police said.
“It can only be described as a brutal attack,” said officer Tanner Tixier, spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department. “She was originally assaulted east of here, closer to Tramway, and then she was forcefully marched to the dam behind me where he assaulted her a second time.”
The woman described her assailant as an Hispanic or mixed race male, between 18 and 20 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weighing between 120 and 140 pounds. She told a forensic sketch artist for the police he has curly hair, is clean-shaven and was wearing a brown jacket, black pants with white stripes down the sides, and black gloves, Tixier said. He may be a student that goes by the name of “Craig,” according to APD.
The woman contacted police immediately after the assault and visited the hospital, Tixier said. Police have not said whether the man was armed during the attack.
“As scary and violent as it was, all things considered, she is OK,” he added. “She didn’t suffer any severe trauma physically at least.”
Since police released a sketch of the assailant Monday afternoon, Tixier said many neighbors and runners that frequent the trails have reported seeing a man matching the attacker’s description in the area over the past two weeks.
Jane Honeywell, a board member of the Oso Grande Neighborhood Association, lives across the street from the dam and was walking in El Oso Grande Park when a neighbor told her about the attack. She said she’s lived in the neighborhood for more than a year and never felt unsafe, but now she’s more hesitant to go out alone.
“I’ve never heard of anything like that happening before,” she said. “I hadn’t heard about problems at board meetings of anything like that. When something like that happens you remember you have to be careful.”
Detective A. Wild, with the APD Sex Crime unit, said the assailant is believed to live in the area as a member of the community. She said he has been described as clean, and she does not think he is homeless.
Honeywell said the neighborhood is a mix of retirees and students and the description of the attacker could match just about anyone.
“I’m sad to hear it happened here,” Honeywell said. “People are friendly, I know a lot of the neighbors. Of course there are apartments and then people tend to come and go. I guess it’s just a dangerous world.”
Although the assault happened around sunset at 5 p.m. and a couple of people were in the area, no one was close enough to know what was happening or help the woman, Tixier said. Her attacker threatened her if she screamed, he added.
Call police if you have any information regarding this case or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 843-STOP.