SAN ANTONIO, Texas – News of the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman who was jogging near Brackenridge Park has other park visitors on heightened alert.
San Antonio police say a 20-year-old woman told them she was approached by a man with a gun around 9 a.m. Monday as she was exercising near Mulberry Street and Avenue A.
She says the man forced her into his vehicle, made her duck down in the car, then drove her to an apartment about 15 minutes away.
Once there, the woman says the stranger forced her to cover her face with a hoodie, bound her hands with tape, and sexually assaulted her.
She told police after the attack, the man asked where she lives and drove her home.
Police say surveillance cameras captured information about his vehicle that helped them to identify the suspect.
They arrested Brandyn Alexander Garcia, 29, Thursday.
“I’m kind of shocked,” said Jim Swindle, who was walking through Brackenridge Park Friday morning with a female companion.
Swindle says while they usually walk as a couple, he has seen many women jogging alone.
“It’s probably not a good idea but you would think in broad daylight it would be ok,” he said. “I do notice that it seems like the city doesn’t really have a lot of law enforcement at the park.”
Safety hasn’t always been at the forefront of Margaret Kanyusik’s mind as she exercised in the park, but she says that will change.
“I run here two or three times a week by myself and that is my track,” Kanyusik said. “It’s never happened in the park before that I know of, but it’ll certainly make me stick to more busy trails and things.”
Police say Garcia faces several charges including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and evading arrest.
The latter charge stems from what happened at the time of his arrest.
As police attempted to take him into custody, they say Garcia somehow slipped out of one of his handcuffs, jumped into his car and drove away.
Officers, however, caught up with him at his home and arrested him.