FREDERICK, Md. (WJLA) – Frederick Police are searching for a man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman near a busy shopping center.
The alleged attack occurred on Monday in a lot near the shopping center at East Patrick Street and Davis Avenue.
At the Hair Metro salon in Frederick, the chatter on Tuesday wasn’t about the latest styles—it was about the recent crime that had reportedly taken place the morning before.
Myersville resident Katie Poindexter recently found out that Frederick Police are investigating the suspected rape, just steps away from the salon.
“It’s unbelievable to me, yes. I had no clue—scary thought,” Poindexter said. “I worry about my young daughters walking around. You think you’re perfectly safe in broad daylight.”
Police say they were called to the scene around 11 a.m. on July 21. The victim told authorities she was attacked from behind as she walked on a path that runs along an abandoned lot off of East Patrick Street, in between two busy shopping areas.
“You look over here, it’s so grown up, you could drag anybody in there, and that’d be the end of it,” said Frederick resident Bryan Griffor.
The victim claims she was raped by a stranger, which Frederick Police say is very rare. NewsChopper 7 spotted officers on the scene on Monday; they returned Tuesday with extra patrols, as detectives looked for evidence.
“They were canvassing the area, looking for additional information, looking for video footage,” said Lt. Clark Pennington of the Frederick City Police. “Whatever might be out there to help us identify the suspect and give us a better timeline on when it might have occurred.”
For the time being, people like Poindexter say they will be staying away from the path and the lot that surrounds it.
“I definitely would be more cautious,” Poindexter said. “I don’t think I’d want to walk over there after hearing something like that.”
Frederick City Police are working with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police to investigate the incident. All three agencies have stepped up patrols.
On Monday, K-9 units were unsuccessful in their attempts to follow the suspect’s scent.
The suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall, muscular white male who has a blond buzz cut.