By Carla Zanoni
INWOOD — A female jogger said she was physically and sexually attacked in Inwood Hill Park this week prompting police to step up patrols at local parks.
The woman told police she was jogging alone in a secluded area of the park Tuesday morning when she was grabbed from behind and touched in an "inappropriate sexual manner," 34th Precinct Captain Jose Navarro told a Community Board 12 meeting.
The Special Victims Unit is investigating the case.
Navarro said officers have stepped up patrols in the area and are also increasing the number of plain clothes police in the parks as well.
Jason Minter, owner of Indian Road Café just outside the park on 218th Street and Indian Road, said the woman came into his restaurant right after the attack and described the assault.
According to Minter, the victim said she was running when she noticed a man chasing her. He caught her and the two struggled and fell to the ground before the woman was able to fight him off. He then ran away through the woods.
Police are reminding area residents to be aware of their surroundings while using the park and asking that people not wear headphones when they're alone.
Earlier this year police stepped up security in Inwood, after another woman reported that she was sexually assaulted when exercising in Inwood Hill Park. And in 2004, Sarah Fox, an aspiring Julliard drama student, was found strangled in the park.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit its tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers' Web site at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.