NewsCovering Kern County


Riverwalk Park Trail sexual assault suspect remains on the loose

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 22:53:41-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Police on Tuesday, at Riverwalk Park Trail, were seen stepping up patrols in a vehicle and an off the road ATV. This comes as the search continues for the man who assaulted a woman on the bike trail near the Park at Riverwalk.

Bakersfield police have released a composite of the suspect and needs the community's help to find him.

“I heard about the attack and thought ‘woo' that's too close for comfort [and] a little scary,” said Carol Sowers, a local biker.

The attack hasn’t stopped Sowers, who bikes 16 miles a day on the trail four times a week.

“It's better to go with a partner and better to have someone with you,” Sowers said. “Just pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you.”

According to the BPD, on July 5th, a woman was walking on the bike path near the park when she was assaulted by a man who then ran off. Police say the attack occurred after 9 p.m. near Stockdale Highway.

Robert and Debbie Dill said they, too, heard about the attack and are on high alert.

“We run into about six to a dozen individuals on the trail,” said Robert Dill. “I wouldn’t suggest a woman to be out here alone.”

The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 35-40 years old, 5 foot 10 inches with a thin build. He had short, curly red/brown hair, tattoos on his left arm and was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. He was described by police as "transient in appearance."

“We did see the police this morning on the trail and this is the first time we are seeing police presence,” said Robert Dill.

BPD says they were looking for any illegal encampment on the trail and that their street impact team patrols this area daily.

“If they are out there daily we just haven't seen them,” said Robert Dill. “I don’t think it would be a bad idea if they patrolled the area a couple times a day and ride on the path."