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Police release sketch of Rocky Ridge park attacker
Springettsbury Township Police have released a sketch of a man they said attacked a young woman jogging at Rocky Ridge County Park on Tuesday night.
They've also released updated information about his description.
Police initially reported the man was wearing a green hooded sweatshirt but now believe he was wearing a green collared jacket with a dark inner liner, they said. He's a white man in his 40s with grayish-blond hair, about 5-feet-8, and also was wearing cargo-style shorts and white-and-blue sneakers.
Police said an 18-year-old woman jogging at the park shortly about 8 p.m. escaped with minor injuries after being attacked on a trail.
Springettsbury Township Police Chief Dan Stump has said it's clear the attacker had "sinister and evil" intentions, possibly rape and/or murder. He said the young woman did the right thing by fighting back.
Chasing leads: On Thursday, Sgt. Brian Wilbur said a canvass of the neighborhood adjacent to the park yielded no solid leads.
Asked what's next, the sergeant said investigators will keep at it.
"We're just going to keep following up on leads until we get a break," Wilbur said. "We’ve gotten numerous tips and calls."
Some of those tips are still being chased down, while others have been determined not to be valid, he said.
The young woman is doing OK, Wilbur said. She described her attacker for a sketch artist who works for state police in the Philadelphia area, who then created the sketch released on Thursday, he said.
The attack: She was running in Rocky Ridge County Park about 8 p.m. Tuesday, near Trails 1 and 4, when it happened, police said.
Stump said she saw the man ahead of her on the trail and was jogging toward him.
"He stepped off the trail to let her go by, which is the (courteous) thing to do," the chief said. "Literally as she ran by him, he reached out and grabbed her by the back of her sweatshirt and pulled her to the ground."
He then threw her to the side of the trail, and she landed on some rocks, according to Stump.
"That's when she started fighting back," he said, kicking at and struggling with her attacker.
Ran and hid: She eventually got away from him, but suffered minor injuries and lost a shoe in the process, the chief said. The man initially chased her as she ran, but she got away from him, hid in the woods until it was safe, then ran to a nearby home for help, police said.
Stump said police are hoping bicyclists and others using Rocky Ridge trails on Tuesday evening had GoPro cameras. He said people who used GoPros there Tuesday should take their footage to Springettsbury Township Police to be reviewed.
Wilbur said he's been with Springettsbury police for 18 years, and that this is the first attack of this kind he can recall at Rocky Ridge.
Police urged people using the trails to walk, jog or bike with a buddy, if possible. They also warned that earbuds can prevent people from hearing someone approaching them from behind.
Wilbur said people should be aware of their surroundings no matter where they are.
Regular patrols: York County spokesman Carl Lindquist said York County park rangers regularly patrol the county's 11 parks both in uniform and in plain clothes.
About 200,000 people visit Rocky Ridge every year, he said, and the park boasts something like a dozen miles of trails.
York County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the attacker. All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and callers don't have to give their names to collect cash rewards.
Anyone who was in the area of Rocky Ridge County Park on Tuesday evening and saw someone matching the attacker's description is asked to call township police at (717) 757-3525, or call Crime Stoppers at (717) 755-TIPS.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.