Good Samaritans rescued a jogger who was being attacked in the middle of a residential street near Balboa Park Saturday morning, police said.
"I was sleeping and then I heard two screams," said Marcos Walters.
The 30-year-old woman was jogging south on Florida Dr. at University Ave. at about 6.30 a.m. when she saw a man that she had seen previously on another recent run, she told police. As she jogged towards Myrtle Street, the man ran up behind her.
“She ran into the middle of the street, screamed, obviously she felt that this person was after her,” Lt. Ken Hubbs said. “He chased her down the street, didn’t say a word, knocked her to the ground and climbed on top of her.”
Residents heard the woman yelling as she tried to fight off her attacker.
"I awoke to some screams," Lorena Slomanson said. "Pretty loud, shrill sounds, screams. "She was screaming as he was jumping on to her, in the street. In the middle of the street."
They came to her aid.
“Had she gone maybe another 50 yards towards Upas, which is the direction she was going, she would have been in a more isolated area near the park,” Lt. Hubbs said. “Where she was able to scream, there were a lot of residents that were there. A little bit further there would not have been very many people.”
The Good Samaritans chased the suspect, but lost sight of him.
“He was last seen running, still going eastbound on Dwight Street and near Texas, about as far some of the witnesses and good Samaritans had chased him,” Lt. Hubbs said.
“She seemed ok, but she was very scared. She seemed very scared," said another neighbor who lives in the apartment complex near where attack happened. "She screamed really, at the top of her lungs."
Police detained a man about 30 minutes later, but released him.
“I saw a suspect on Alabama Street, near here. He looked similar. A girl that was walking a dog thought that she saw a man with the bandana, fitting the description also,” Lt. Hubbs said. “We located that individual here in the alley and he turned out to not be the suspect.”
The suspect is described as Hispanic, 20-30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches, about 250 pounds with short, dark, close cropped hair. He was wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans with a black print bandana covering his mouth.
Slomanson says while scary that it happened in her neighborhood, it could happen anywhere.
“Here was a young woman who takes a running route four days a week and lives in the neighborhood," said Slomanson. "Luckily, she was in a place where she could be heard and people could respond to her."
If you have any information, contact police.