Capital Crescent Trail assault: Police release sketch of suspect

Photo: Montgomery County Police

Montgomery County Police are warning people who use a popular trail to not walk alone at night.

The warning comes after a woman was attacked on the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda and this isn’t the first attack there this year.

Authorities say the 21-year-old female victim was running after 7 p.m. October 21 when she stopped for some deer crossing the path.

“It was dark at that point and she may have been watching the deer not wanting to get too close and she claims she didn’t hear anything,” says Captain Paul Starks of the Montgomery County Police.

That’s when her attacker struck, hitting her from behind and then sexually assaulting her. She woke up in the bushes and flagged down a male runner to help her, eventually calling police from a home in the 4900 block of Brookway Drive.

The suspect is described as a white man with a thin build. He has a pale complexion and is believed to be about 6'0 with short brown hair.

Craig Lake isn’t surprised by this incident. She was approached on the trail several years ago by a man who was harassing female runners.

“It’s scary and depressing, really. It’s Bethesda, Maryland. You should feel safe here,” she says.

One couple learned of the attack Monday morning. They say they will be more cautious when on the popular trail.

“I think it’s horrible,” says Michael Bard. “It’s awful.”

“I’m pretty freaked out,” says Deborah Brenner. “I passed the police line back there and I wouldn’t have even imagined that this had happened.”

{ }A $1,000 reward is offered for information that leads to an arrest.