Police searching for suspect after woman assaulted on walking trail in Matthews

The incident happened on the Crestdale Heritage Trail early Sunday morning.
Police are searching for a man who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a Matthews trail.
Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 3:50 PM EDT
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MATTHEWS, N.C. (WBTV) - Police are searching for a man who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a walking trail in Matthews on Sunday morning.

According to the Matthews Police Department, the incident happened in the early morning hours on Crestdale Heritage Trail in the area of Club View Lane.

The victim said that the suspect, who was unknown to her, approached her on the trail and assaulted her before fleeing on foot.

The suspect is described as a male who is 6 feet tall with an athletic build and dark hair.

This comes after Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say another suspect attempted to rape a woman on the Campbell Creek Greenway near McAlpine Creek Park in broad daylight Wednesday.

WBTV has reported on at least one attempted rape, assault or murder along greenways in our area each year since 2016, except for in 2020.

Darren Phillips, who teaches self-defense in Cary, says when you’re alone, trust your gut.

“The moment you feel uncomfortable, that’s it. Forget everything else, get the heck out of there,” he suggests.

He also says while every situation is different, it’s often best to fight back and create chaos to throw the attacker off their game.

“The opponent just wants something and they want it easy. They want low-hanging fruit. The moment you take away the ease of that...over and over we hear the stories, somebody just fights back and screams and hits and scratches their face and they’re like, this is not what I signed up for, I’m going away.”

Police echo Phillips’ message. They say if you’re walking or jogging, it’s best to go with others in the daytime. They say, bring your phone, your music volume low or off, and keep your head on a swivel.

As for this case, Matthews Police ask anyone who knows anything or has surveillance video of a potential suspect to call 704-847-5555.

Related: Search continues for attacker after attempted rape on Charlotte greenway