Forsyth County authorities say that a woman was sexually assaulted while running on the Greenway in south Forsyth on Wednesday morning.
According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater, the woman was running on the greenway near McFarland Parkway when a man, described as a black male in his 30s, who was also walking on the Greenway, inappropriately grabbed at her body.
Rainwater said the woman ran to her vehicle and immediately called 911, exactly as they teach residents to do in self-defense classes. Deputies were quickly dispatched to the Greenway to begin searching for the man, but he was not located.
Even though they won’t know the suspect’s true intent during the incident until he is captured, Rainwater said that the Sheriff’s Office’s major crimes unit is treating the crime with the utmost seriousness.
“If a male puts his hands unwanted on a female, we can only speculate that something bad was about to happen,” he said. “We are not taking this lightly.”
Rainwater said that however serious the incident was, it is a good opportunity for the Sheriff’s Office to remind people of how to stay safe while using the Greenway.
He explained that because assailants rarely target groups of people, the best way to stay safe is by using the Greenway with a friend or buddy.
“The buddy system is a great way to increase your safety,” he said.
But if your buddy can’t make it, the Sheriff’s Office suggests that people consider carrying determent devices like pepper spray and should always be vigilant of where they are and what is happening around them.
“Always know where you are so you can call 911 and immediately let us know where you are,” Rainwater said.
In light of this incident, Rainwater said that the Sheriff’s Office will be increasing their bike patrols along the Greenway and its various parking areas.