Austin police search for sexual assault suspect


by MELISSA MAHADEO / KVUE News with photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 5:35 AM

AUSTIN -- Kristoffer Lands said he has lived off of Furness Drive in Northeast Austin for almost two decades. It's what he calls a 'small town community.'

"I could probably name everybody out here," Lands said. "My parents live about two doors down. My brother lives at the end of the street."

So when he heard there was an attempted sexual assault near Hart Elementary, which is less than a block from his house, he was surprised.

It happened around 7:30 in the morning on Saturday. A woman was jogging on a trail near the Hart Elementary playground when a man attacked her.

"She was grabbed by an unknown Hispanic male and taken to the ground and he attempted to sexually assault her," Detective Michael Crumrine with Austin police said.

Austin police described the attacker as a a Hispanic male in his 30's. He is about 5' 6'' and 175 pounds with black tattoos on his chest and arms.

Luckily, a nearby jogger heard the woman's screams, ran to her aid and called 911.

The attacker ran away. Now police are out looking for him, and according to Lands, so is the neighborhood.

"I hope it is not someone in the neighborhood because it will turn into a witch hunt real fast," he said.

Austin police recommend jogging in pairs or with a dog. They recommend always keeping your cell phone within reach.

If you have any information, please contact Crime stoppers at 472-TIPS.