There is concern in one Massachusetts community as police ask for the public’s help in tracking down a man accused of sexually assaulting a woman walking alone along a busy street.
"She was walking on Commercial Street when she was approached by a male subject and dragged into a wooded area, the victim was able to fight off the suspect who subsequently fled on foot," Mashpee Police Chief Scott Carline said.
Police believe the man - described as a tall male in his 40’s, wearing a dark coat – may have been on foot.
They said it was unclear if he was following the female victim, who’s in her mid-30’s and was headed in the direction of the Community Health Center of Cape Cod around 5:30 Wednesday night.
"Stunned," said health center patient Jim Grossline.
"You’d never expect it so that really is scary," added Jeannie Dombrowski, who shops nearby.
"We flooded the area and searched, we tended to the victim upon our immediate response," said Carline. "We called for a K9 unit from the Barnstable County Sheriff’s department, we had multiple officers in the area."
There are no sidewalks in the area and no street lights, but NBC10 Boston spoke with a couple of women who said they walk this exact route every day.
"It’s scary, I’m always cautious and I always walk with a buddy," said Elizabeth Dale who lives nearby. "If I want to go at night, I walk with a flashlight and everything."
It’s concerning for women who frequent the nearby shopping plaza.
"Very surprising and kind of troubling I guess," Shopper Shelly McGowan said.
"In a smaller town you just don’t think about that but things do happen unfortunately," Jeannie Dombrowski added.