NORWICH – According to police an individual walking along the railroad tracks in downtown Norwich was attacked from behind by a male suspect on Tuesday in broad daylight.
The attacker forced the victim into the brush and then began stripping off the victim's cloths, before the victim fought themselves free and ran for help.
The City of Norwich Police Department and New York State Police are continuing to seek the public's assistance in tracking down a suspect.
Suspect: White male, mid-twenties, dirty blonde/light brown hair, wearing a gray colored tank top. The victim also reported the suspect was carrying what was described as possibly being a “red colored belt.”
Police said the object the attacker was holding may have been something similar, possibly even a red handkerchief.
Crime time: Occurred at about 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, as the victim was walking north on the railroad tracks between Rexford Street and Borden Avenue.
It’s believed that the suspect fled the area headed east towards Waite Street. Anyone with information or who may have observed or heard something, to please contact them at 334-1212 or the NPD Tips Line at 336-TIPS (8477).
The victim was treated at Chenango Memorial Hospital for minor abrasions and released.
Assistant Police Chief Scott Burlison advised the public to be observant and aware.
“Be aware of what is around you. Pay attention. For example, when you’re at the ATM, they have those mirrors. Knowing those are there and using them, that's an example of good awareness. Please avoid always looking down at the phone when you are out and about,” he advised.
He also recommended residents stay off the railroad tracks, explaining it was private railroad property. The tracks are routinely used as a shortcut by pedestrians in town to cut across certain blocks.
Police would not say if the victim was underage or release any other information in order to protect the victim.
“We want to focus on the suspect and apprehending the suspect. We are interviewing neighbors, reviewing video and looking for additional information” said Burlison
He said the incident was not normal for the area because it had occurred in broad daylight and seems to have been committed by a random person.