SAPD offers safety tips after sex assault reported at Hardberger Park

Woman said she was sexually assaulted at park

By RJ Marquez - Digital Content Curator

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio police were questioning a person of interest Tuesday following a report of a sexual assault of a runner at Hardberger Park.

Police conducted an investigation after a 27-year-old woman said she was jogging when a man grabbed her from behind and pulled her into the brush before sexually assaulting her.

KSAT 12 investigated calls within a mile radius of the park and there have been five sexual assault cases recorded since the beginning of 2017.

KSAT spoke to Frank Trevino, who has been a trail watch volunteer at the park since 2013.

“At this point, there is nothing else we can do differently,” Trevino said. “Come out a little more often. Visit some more of the outlying areas. Of course, this was reported in an area that is very populated."

Trevino shared some advice for people visiting the park. “It’s always recommended if you are going to be out in the wilderness in the areas that doesn't have much traffic, you really want to be with someone else,” Trevino said. “People who are wearing ear buds, not good. You can’t hear someone behind you."

City councilman Manny Pelaez said SAPD and Park Police will increase patrols in the area. SAPD also provided some tips to park visitors:

1. Go with a buddy. Enjoy your trails and parklands with a friend. Two or more trail users can assist each other in the event of accident or injury, and one can always seek help.

2. The day is your friend. It's better to avoid dusk and darkness.

3. Use all your senses. Listen for suspicious noises. Don't wear headphones; they impair your ability to hear someone approaching you from behind. If you sense that an area may be unsafe for you, leave.

4. Take what you need. Carry personal identification, a fully charged cellphone and wear your medical bracelets.

5. Leave valuables at home. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle while you are enjoying your picnic lunch or using the trails, hide them well before you arrive at the parking area; auto burglaries are all too common.

6. Call for help: If you need assistance or encounter someone else needing assistance in the District, call 911.

7. Have someone waiting. Always let someone else know where you will be going and when you will return, and instruct him or her to call 911 if you do not return as planned.

8. Attire: Don’t wear any expensive jewelry.

9. Tools: If you feel comfortable carrying pepper spray, that can also be a tool of defense. Make sure you do research prior to purchasing.

10. Own the trail. Project alertness, confidence, and determination. Your shoulders are back, you are aware of your surroundings, and you have somewhere to go.

Copyright 2017 by KSAT - All rights reserved.