The Sherman Police Department on Thursday announced an arrest in connection with a pair of attempted sexual assaults in Herman Baker Park over the past three months. Officials booked a 39-year-old Hispanic man following an alleged confrontation along the park’s jogging trails on Wednesday evening.
Police believe the suspect ambushed an 18-year-old woman as she ran along one of many secluded portions of the jogging trails, pushing her to the ground. Officers say the woman was able to fight off the assailant by kicking and punching him, ripping his shirt in the process. According to police, witnesses later observed a Hispanic man matching the description provided by the woman as he entered a distinctive black pickup truck and exited the park.
“She was prepared to be able to defend herself and to get away from this person, and she did a great job, an outstanding job,” said Sherman Sergeant D.M. Hampton of the young woman. “This is an isolated incident and this person’s in custody now. But you have to be aware of your surroundings, especially as it’s getting darker or late at night. In this case, it worked out — she was able to defend herself, get away from this person, and ultimately help us locate him.”
Police were able to move quickly to track down the suspect based on the familiarity of officer Brett Mullen with the area. Mullen recognized the description of the suspected get-away vehicle, and was able to locate a similar truck at a nearby apartment complex.
Law enforcement then made contact with three men living in an apartment, one of whom matched the description provided by the woman. A search of the residence turned-up a ripped shirt that police say links the suspect to the crime. Authorities claim the man’s roommates confirmed that he had been at the park at the time of the incident, and the woman identified the alleged perpetrator from a photo array.
During questioning, Sherman police say they obtained confessions from the man in both Wednesday’s attack and an earlier unsolved incident that occurred in the same park on the evening of July 29. In that case, a Hispanic man similarly approached a woman along the jogging trails, allegedly with the intent of committing a criminal act.
Police anticipate charging the suspect with two counts of attempted sexual assault.