Police investigating alleged sexual assault near Power Park
Woman walking alone allegedly attacked by man asking for change
By MARCUS CONSTANTINO
Daily Mail Staff
Charleston police are investigating after a woman was sexually assaulted after a West Virginia Power game Tuesday night.
Sgt. Tony Hazelett. assistant chief of detectives, said a woman had parked her car in the 1300 block of Smith Street and was walking alone to Appalachian Power Park to meet her husband. The woman was approached by a man on foot who asked for change, but she declined.
Hazelett said the man followed her and eventually grabbed her by the hair from behind.
“After a short distance, the male grabbed her by the hair, pulled her into him and knocked her down,” Hazelett said.
She was then dragged by her hair behind an abandoned, brick building, where Hazelett said the suspect “pinned her against the building and sexually assaulted her.”
The victim was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Hospital “for precautionary measures,” and was treated and released.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 50s, around 5 feet, 10 inches tall, unshaven with long, gray hair and a medium build. Police are still gathering evidence but have no leads at this time.
Hazelett said such a violent crime in that part of Charleston is alarming because the area is typically busy with pedestrians after Power games, which deters crime.
“I’ve never had a report of this level of violence around that area,” Hazelett said. “You don’t get nothing this brutal or violent in that area. This is the first for me that’s been around that area, especially at that time of the day, with the ballpark, people walking around, foot traffic, vehicle traffic.”
Hazelett said police are conducting interviews and attempting to gather surveillance video from nearby businesses to look for leads in the case.
Hazelett said it is best not to travel alone at night, but if you must, there are things you can do if confronted by an attacker.
“The best thing I can give you if you’re confronted with that situation is make a screaming noise and run,” Hazelett said. “Run toward a light. Do anything to startle your attacker. People react differently to different things, but just make any kind of noise to draw attention toward you.”
Anyone with information on the crime should contact the Charleston Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.
Contact writer Marcus Constantino at 304-348-1796 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/amtino.