Women in Charlotte have their guard up after a violent attack at a popular Charlotte park Tuesday. The suspect is on the loose after assaulting a stranger at Freedom Park. Police are asking for the public's help, and they've stepped up patrols of the area.
"Kind of makes me nervous that I'm here by myself," Elizabeth Michaels said.
Freedom Park is extremely popular for families, the kind of place people feel safe. So women Eyewitness News spoke with were shocked to hear a woman was so badly injured there she can barely speak to police. Michaels often plays volleyball at the park. The attack shattered her sense of peace.
"No more laying in the sun with my headphones on with my eyes closed or playing volleyball by myself," Michaels said.
Police say the 52-year-old woman was attacked in broad daylight. Her attacker came up behind her while she was working out on the greenway between the park and the nature museum.
"That is extremely scary," park visitor Cameron Todd said. "I can't imagine."
The victim was able to call 911 and describe her attacker as a black man, between 30 and 40. He has a medium complexion and was wearing a gold tank top and running shoes and shorts. Police want people to be on the lookout for him in case he comes back to the park.
"It wouldn't be good if he did cause there a lot of people out here watching," Joshua Burleigh said.
Police say the woman was taken to the hospital with injuries to her face. Those injuries have made it difficult to talk to her. And now other women are scared this could happen to them too.
"You never know when things are going to happen so it's always good to have someone with you," Todd said.