Jogger: Man grabbed me from behind, tried to drag me off sidewalk

Posted at 2:06 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 18:55:15-05

MASON, Ohio -- Police spent Monday night patrolling Hickory Woods Drive after a morning jogger reported she had been attacked by a masked man who attempted to drag her off of the sidewalk.

Jennifer, who asked WCPO not to use her last name for safety reasons, said she chose to run a new route behind the Mason Early Childhood Center because she believed it was quiet and free of traffic. Partway through her run, however, she heard pounding footsteps behind her.

"He was running up directly behind me, which runners don't do," she said.

Then he grabbed her, clamping one hand around her neck and the other over her mouth. Jennifer said she immediately began to scream and struggle.

"I still have my necklace on, so I he wasn't trying to take any of my jewelry. I think he was just wondering what he could do to me. … He was pulling me towards this grassy area off the road, and I didn't want to go there," she said. "I was about to bite his hand, and he let go of me and ran toward the school.

"I ran as fast as I could the other way."

Jennifer said she sprinted all the way home, at which point she called 911 in tears. A K-9 officer helped search the area later but did not locate a suspect, leaving nearby resident Sangeetha Gunda with an uneasy feeling. Gunda's daughter attends the Mason Early Childhood Center every morning.

"I was so scared because she goes right at that time," she said.

Anyone with information on the assault should call the Mason Police Department at 513-229-8560.

Jennifer said she never got a good look at the suspect because he was wearing a mask and hoodie, and her only priority was to escape.

"I saw my life flash in front of me," she said. "I was just thinking about my daughters, I was thinking about my husband, and I wanted to make sure I was going to fight and do everything I could. I did not want to be a victim."