Three women attacked on the river trail during the same day
REDDING,Calif. - Three women were attacked on the river trail in broad daylight, and the suspect is still on the loose.
Around 12:45 pm Monday a woman reported being assaulted on the river trail, an unidentified male grabbed her rear while she was jogging.
Hours later another woman was struck in the head and lost consciousness while using the same trail.
She awoke to a man, who matched the description of the previous suspect, dragging her by the ankles towards the edge of the trail; she started yelling and was able to get away.
That incident happened around 4:44pm.
In between the two incidents there was another woman assaulted in the same area, who was hit in the chest by what seems to be the same suspect. This victim was able to run to a nearby residence and call 911 but help never came.
Donna Ellis said her husband was outside putting up Halloween decorations when a woman ran up asking for help.
"A young man on a bicycle had rode by her and taken a fist and slugged her in the chest," said Ellis.
Ellis also said the woman described the attacker as a teenager on a BMX bike.
"She yelled at him to get out of there, to get away from her and he laughed, confronted her some more and took off on his bike," said Ellis.
That's when Ellis convinced the victim to call police.
According to Ellis, police were called around 1:38 pm but no one showed up. A subsequent call was made at 2:50pm and again no response.
Ellis then called Chief Rob Paolettis' office.
Ellis spoke with his executive assistant who deferred the issue to SHASCOM saying they had not received the call regarding the assault.
That response worried Ellis, but she eventually spoke with a police sergeant.
"Imagine how this third woman feels who was attacked when they did not investigate the second attack and [the sergeant] explained to me that they only had eight officers that were covering at that time 120,000 people," said Ellis.
Ellis said she's concerned especially after what happened in 1995 with the death of Christine Munro.
"What I don't understand is why the city would want to continue to go on expanding our trail system when they're unable to cover what they already have," said Ellis. "That's a problem if you only have eight officers covering 120,000 people you need to focus your funds on increasing protection."
Police said they are increasing patrols in the area of the river trail in an effort to increase safety.