Sexual Assault Victim Home From Hospital; Police Continue Search
A 53-year-old woman was sexually assaulted early Monday morning while walking on the Guyot Stream Walkway that runs between Witherspoon Street and Jefferson Road.
The attack occurred just after midnight, according to the Princeton Township Police Department. The woman was approached by a Hispanic man, about 5'3, with close-cropped curly hair, wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeved shirt; his age was undetermined.
The suspect displayed a silver folding knife, told the woman his intentions, and forced her to a nearby playground, where the sexual assault was committed.
The victim was admitted to the University Medical Center at Princeton where she was treated and released. Township Police did not know as of Tuesday whether the woman was receiving any additional treatment.
Township Police Chief Anthony Gaylord said that the description of the man was "general." Det. Sgt. Scott Porreca and Det. Cpl. Arthur Villaruz, and Cpl. Gary Conover are carrying out the investigation. They were not available for comment at press time.
Chief Gaylord could not elaborate on the exact state of the victim, except that she is "okay." The Guyot Stream Walkway is a heavily-wooded, frequently used shortcut for students going to and from Community Park Elementary School, John Witherspoon Middle School, and Princeton High School. It also runs along the Valley Road recreation fields. Chief Gaylord said that problems in that area rarely exceed vandalization, even late at night, and that this particular incident appears to be isolated.
The chief said there was no indication that the assault was linked to any incidents in surrounding municipalities, but added that the investigating detectives would be checking with other municipalities for reports of similar acts.
"It might have been an opportunist someone who was just walking by there and saw this woman," he said.
Even if it were isolated, the chief said, police would carefully monitor the area.
"We try to watch all the areas, and we haven't had any problem there in a long time," Chief Gaylord said, adding that the surrounding areas would also be watched.
The police chief urged that residents take care when walking at night.
"People should try to walk in pairs and not pick isolated spots," he said. "They need to be aware of their surroundings and where they're walking."