EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene Police are looking for a man who they say attacked a woman on the East Bank Bike Path off Goodpasture Island Road.
They said at around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, the woman passed a man then realized he began to follow her. Police said the woman had already pulled out her pepper spray, but the suspect pushed her to the ground, put his hand over her mouth and threatened to kill her.
The woman sprayed him with pepper spray and screamed, while the suspect ran off.
Police said the suspect is described as a white man, in his 60s, around 5 feet 5 inches tall, with shoulder length wavy or curly hair. Anyone who saw anything is asked to call police.
KEZI spoke with Karen Feichtner, who walks the path every day. She said she was appalled when she heard about the attack.
"I don't understand the mindset of people that would intentionally hurt someone,” Feichtner said. “Like what's the point. Luckily, she had something to defend herself. Unfortunately, you always need to keep something with you to defend yourself."
KEZI also spoke with Ron Steury, the service Manager at Kiefer Mazda which is in front of the bike path. Steury said he's not surprised by the attack because his business has encountered their own issues in the area over the years.
“In our business, we've had some theft back here. We had some vandalism,” Steury said.
Police are offering some general personal safety tips as well, such as being aware of your surroundings at all times. They said to walk confidently and don't avoid eye contact. They also said to keep plenty of distance between yourself and people you don't want to approach you. If grabbed, fight back and make as much noise as possible.
Police also suggest using the buddy system when walking after dark or in "fringe" areas.