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Would-Be Rapist Drags Jogger Into Central Park Woods, Sources Say

By  Murray Weiss and Aidan Gardiner | October 11, 2016 9:38am | Updated on October 11, 2016 11:09am

MANHATTAN — A Central Park jogger was grabbed by a man who dragged her into a wooded area, pulled off her clothes and tried to rape her before fleeing the scene Monday night, sources said.

The 28-year-old woman left her home about 9:30 p.m. and entered the park at West 110th Street and Lenox Avenue, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

She put her hoodie up and was listening to music on her headphones as she jogged south on East Drive, before eventually turning north again on the same path, police said.

Then a man came up behind her, put her in a bear hug and dragged her off the path into a wooded area, police said.

He undressed her and told her that he was going to rape her, but was unable to carry on with the act, sources said.

He searched her pockets, grabbed her cellphone and fled the scene, police said. 

The suspect, dressed in a dark jacket with an orange T-shirt, fled and wasn't immediately arrested, police said.

Investigators found her phone in The Bronx, sources said.

He's in his 30s and was last seen with a scruffy beard, police said.

The woman was treated and released from an area hospital, police said.

Activists have criticized the city for not quickly repairing 15 street lights on Central Park jogging paths that don't work.

While overall crime is down in the park, the activists are worried the darkness may draw criminals and have begun passing out whistles to runners there.

"We think that during reasonable hours, all runners and cyclists should feel safe in our city’s parks," said Michael Alcamo, of Dashing Whippets, a running group that has taken up the cause.