Jogger Says Armed, Masked Man Tried to Rape Her in Rohr Park

A masked man in a park might alarm a jogger under normal circumstances, but facial covering protocols gave the assailant a leg up on suspicion

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A La Mesa woman claims she was confronted and nearly assaulted by a man who was using facial covering guidelines for more than protecting himself against the coronavirus.

The woman, who only wanted to be identified as Sharissa, said she was out for a jog in Rohr Park in Bonita on April 3 when she was confronted by a masked man with a firearm.

“It was terrifying,” she recounted. “He brought a gun to the park. He saw me as a victim. He saw me as prey."

Rohr Park has a popular walking trail, but who exactly you're sharing the park with is a little more difficult these days. Under normal circumstances, a person in a mask approaching you might raise some slight suspicion at least. But in this case, the covering offered the would-be assailant a head start on Sharissa’s caution.

I see this guy coming at me with a gun and he's telling me to get down on the floor," she said. "In one hand he has the gun pointed at me, and the second he is messing with his pants. He was probably grabbing something out of it. By my intuition was he is about to rape me."

Luckily, Sharissa was able to scream and run to her escape.

Besides wearing what Sharissa described as a “dust mask,” her assailant had wide eyes and a round face, and was, according to her, likely in his 20s or early thirties. He was wearing a dark hoody and brown pants.

San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies searched on the ground and in the air but the suspect wasn't found. Sheriff's investigators are investigating the case as an assault with a deadly weapon. Rohr Park remains open to the public.

Sergio Jimenez was in the park at the time, but didn’t see the encounter or a possible suspect. He is, however, familiar with the park and said there are homeless people living in the wooded area adjacent to the park property.

As for Sharissa, that jog a week-and-a-half ago was her first and only at Rohr Park, but not one she'll soon forget.

“I definitely have those moments whether I am really angry or scared” she said.

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