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CMPD: Jogger assaulted on greenway; sources say she used pepper spray to get away

Sources familiar with the incident tell NBC Charlotte the suspect tackled her to the ground and tried to pull up her shirt.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A woman was attacked while jogging on a Charlotte greenway.

Sources familiar with the incident told NBC Charlotte the suspect tackled her to the ground and tried to pull up her shirt. The 21-year-old did not know the man who assaulted her, according to the police report.

It happened Sunday afternoon on the greenway off of David Taylor Drive in the University area.  Sources tell NBC Charlotte the jogger used pepper spray to get away from her attacker after she was tackled to the ground.  

“I’ve never really been scared but I’ll be much more aware now,” bicyclist Bonnie Gable said.

Gable told NBC Charlotte she was using the greenway the same day the attack happened.

“I’ve been using this greenway maybe 25 years since it opened, I’ve never heard anything like that on this greenway,” Gable said.

According to the police report, the victim was also strangled during the attack. She was treated for bruises and scratches but had no major injuries.

“I hope she’s safe, I hope she’s OK,” Gable said. “I’m sure that was traumatic and I feel really bad for her.”

Gable says it’s a reminder to not be distracted while enjoying the outdoors.

“I hope this doesn’t taint the experience for anybody and I hope this doesn’t happen again because it is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air,” Gable said.

Police say it’s an active investigation.  No arrests have been made at this point.

Police recommend using gadgets like pepper spray, personal alarms that loudly sound, and stun guns that joggers can use to stay safe. Other runners we spoke to mentioned they also have their own safety tools in mind as well.

“Make sure he has the FitBit or those types of technologies that we can make calls if there any activities happening," jogger Naiyar Ghaswla said. 

Within the last year, CMPD also launched a new transportation division with a team of officers dedicated to patrolling the 49 miles of Greenway trail throughout Mecklenburg County.   

"We do have a large presence out there,” CMPD Officer Johnathan Frisk previously said. “We want to make sure people visibly see us and you know make sure they feel safe."