Woman sexually assaulted while running on outdoor track in Palatine, police say

PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) -- Palatine police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a woman while she was running on an outdoor track Saturday night.

Police said officers were called to Falcon Park on North Hicks Road at about 9:20 p.m. When they arrived, a 19-year-old woman told them she had been running on the outdoor track when she was assaulted by a man she didn't know.

"I just thought it was a bunch of kids," said Linda McCarty, who lives nearby and heard the victim's screams. "They were fooling around, screaming, but it was pretty loud, and it was pretty intensive."

She was able to fight him off, police said, and the man then fled on a black bicycle.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, 35 to 40 years old, 5 ft. to 5 ft. 2 in. tall and 140 lbs. Photos of the suspect were obtained from surveillance cameras near the track.

The path circles Falcon Park and runs along some townhomes. McCarty said she was walking her dog around 9:20 p.m. Saturday when she heard yelling and saw a brief commotion.

"All I saw was a guy riding on a bike away. He was going that way, and he was going pretty fast," she said. "You just don't think. This is a safe area. We have many, many... this is a well-used path."

At the time of the attack, the path would have been dark. There is no overhead lighting, and it's possible the suspect may have been hiding in bushes.

The victim was taken to Northwest Community Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. She has since been released.

"We've had miscellaneous things once in a while. Car break-in. We've had a guy running around here trying to scam people, but nothing like that," said Stephen Jasinski, who lives nearby.

If you have any information about this case or suspect, contact Palatine police at 847-359-9000.
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