Attempted rape in Whitaker under investigation |

Attempted rape in Whitaker under investigation


A bicyclist was able to fight off a man who assaulted and exposed himself to her Tuesday afternoon on a popular bike trail in Whitaker, according to Allegheny County Police.

The incident happened shortly before 5 p.m. while the woman was riding on the Great Allegheny Passage trail under the Rankin Bridge.

Police said the woman was riding alone along the trail when an unidentified man knocked her from the bicycle and got on top of her, exposing himself. She was able to fight him off, and other bicyclists passing by stopped to help her, police said.

The bicyclists chased the man, but he got away, police said.

Police said the woman was able to fight off the man before any sexual assault took place.

She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released. Police did not identify her.

Whitaker police and paramedics responded to the scene, as well as officers from surrounding communities.

Police searched the area on foot and with K9s, but weren’t able to find the suspect.

The suspect is described as a 5-foot-10 black male in his mid-20s with a medium build. He wasn’t wearing a shirt at the time of the assault, but had on blue jeans and red shoes. He also was described as having a bandage or wrap on one wrist, police said. He might have a speech impediment or be nonverbal, police said. Witnesses described him as having thin lips and thin nose.

Allegheny County Police are investigating.

Police weren’t able to identify the bicyclists who helped the woman, and are asking for them to call the Allegheny County Police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477). Others with information about the incident also are asked to call the tip line. Callers can remain anonymous.

Michael DiVittorio and Madasyn Lee are Tribune-Review staff writers.

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