Authorities investigating a sexual assault that happened in front of passing drivers and others along the Charles River in Watertown, Massachusetts, Thursday afternoon are asking for the public's help locating the suspect.
The victim, a woman in her 20s, was walking along Greenough Boulevard around 2:45 p.m. when she says a man rushed her from behind, grabbed her and forcibly kissed her, and at one point indecently touching her, continuing as she pushed him away and told him to stop.
According to state police, the woman tried to get the attention of cars going by, but no one stopped.
The victim was able to get away and run down Grove Street.
Authorities describe the suspect as a man believed to be in his early 30s, about 5'4 with dark hair. He was wearing a gray T-shirt, jeans and a navy blue hat at the time of the attack.
Before the incident, investigators believe the suspect was seen by the docks on the Soldiers Field Road side of the river with a man in his 50s or 60s with black and grey hair, facial hair, a red shirt and a multicolored hat. The two men were seen drinking from large beer cans.
After the assault was reported, state police troopers searched bike paths and lots around Artesani Park and Greenough Boulevard, but did not find the suspect or the older man. Local police departments have been notified of the suspect and older man's descriptions.
Anyone with information about either man or who saw the victim near Greenough Boulevard, Artesani Park, Grove Street or the dock near the playground is asked to call state police at 617-727-4812.
State police are also asking for a couple that was walking a Golden Retriever on Greenough Boulevard, in the opposite direction of the victim, to try to recall whether they saw the suspect, the older man or the victim.
Meanwhile, news of the sexual assault has disturbed those who use the path for walking and running.
"This is very surprising," Karen Gruzen said during her morning walk. She said the path is usually dotted with people commuting or exercising, like her walking group. "If he really wanted to follow through on the assault, this was probably not a smart place to do it, because it's so public."
Other walkers said the incident is another reminder to always be aware of your surroundings.
"I think it's really bold," walker Bonnie Lamrock said. "You want to be able to trust people, and it's a beautiful area, but that's the way this world is."