UPDATE: Two women assaulted in Mishawaka Park

Mishawaka, Ind. Mishawaka, Ind. Police are on the lookout after two victims said they were assaulted in Kamm Island Park in Mishawaka.

The first incident happened at around 4:00 p.m. June 27th when a woman was walking her dog in the area of Kamm Island. The victim told police the suspect rode up to her on his bike and started petting her dog. He pedaled away but then turned around and knocked her to the ground. That's when the man reportedly grabbed her arm and said something like "come on *expletive*." The victim screamed for help and the suspect fled.

The second incident happened a few days later on July 5th at around 9:30 a.m.. The victim, who police said is in her early to mid-twenties, was walking with a friend when the suspect walked up from behind her, put his hand around her mouth and pulled her back. The victim let out a scream and the suspect left.

Luckily, no one was injured.

Both women gave a similar description of the man they say attacked them: a black male with a dark complexion, thin build, and approximately 5’7”. He appeared to be in his early 20’s. One of the victims told officers the suspect was wearing a ball cap with a large flat bill and was wearing tight fitting bicycle shorts.

Kamm Island Park and nearby Beutter and Battell parks are popular destinations for walkers, joggers and bicyclists.

Wednesday morning the paved paths were packed with people.

"I was just shocked," said Barb Dodd. She and her friend Tammy Sue Moore walk along the St. Joseph River several times a week and said they never feel unsafe. The friends typically use the "buddy system" and try to walk with or near other people.

"The area by Kamm Island is more isolated," said Moore.

News of the two reported assaults has many young, female park-goers on alert.

"I carry mace" said Sarah Hummel.

After hearing about the assaults Hummel and friend, Rachel Hamilton, noted the importance for anyone exercising by themselves to be aware of their surroundings.

Police said the suspect hid near a trash can before grabbing the second victim at Kamm Island.

The suspect's behavior of assaulting during broad day light and targeting women in public places has Asst. Chief Dan Gebo of the Mishawaka Police Department wondering if the suspect may be mentally unstable.

Gebo and the Mishawaka Police Dept. want to catch the suspect before the situation escalates and potentially harms a third or fourth individual.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Mishawaka Police Department Detective Bureau at 574-258-1684 or Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-7867.

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