Jogger escapes from attempted kidnapping near Westminster lake

Posted on: 10:35 pm, May 30, 2012, by

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Neighbors say there’s not much to worry about on Westminster’s Ketner Lake Trail—usually.

Emily Phillips walks there all the time and says, “The weirdest thing is when someone’s dog is off their leash, that’s the biggest worry I’ve ever had.”

“It’s always filled with nice people and their kids and dogs who say ‘hi’ to you,” adds Chris Houghtaling.

But Westminster Police say Monday about 1:15 p.m., a man attacked a 22-year-old woman as she jogged along the trail. Police say she passed the suspect once, as he walked the opposite way. 

But when she looped around again, he was walking in the same direction and grabbed her as she ran by.  She told police the suspect tried to put a cloth over her face, with some kind of chemical on it.  She managed to fight him off and called 911 as he ran away.

Police are especially concerned because a similar incident happened in the same area two years ago.

Investigator Trevor Materasso says in July of 2010, another woman was jogging in the same open space, when a suspect with a similar description tried to grab her.  She also managed to get away.

Police have posted crime alerts at trail entrances and people using the open space are reading them with concern. 

Aaron Henry says he and his wife and ten month old son come here all the time.

“It’s kind of scary,” he says. “It hits a little close to home.”

Police note Monday afternoon was a busy time at Ketner Lake and they hope someone may have noticed the suspect.  They ask anyone who might have any information to please call police.

In the meantime, they remind people using the Open Space to be aware of their surroundings. 

They say if you’re going to wear headphones, make sure the music is not so loud you can’t hear what’s going on around you.