Woman grabbed by stranger on trail at J.F. Gregory Park

By Briana Collier| October 26, 2020 at 4:57 PM EDT - Updated October 26 at 4:57 PM 

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - A scary situation on the trail at J.F. Gregory Park where a woman says she was followed and grabbed by a stranger.

Police are now increasing patrols.

This trail at J.F. Gregory Park is pretty popular in the city of Richmond Hill and it’s not every day you hear reports of people being stalked or followed. But following a recent incident, Richmond Hill police say they will be increasing their patrol out here and be much more visible.

“It’s scary in this world that that still can happen and so it’s definitely shocking," said Maureen Green who rides bikes at the park.

“It kind of did surprise me because so many people walk this trail," said frequent walker Crystal Washington.

Like many people in Richmond Hill Crystal Washington and Maureen Green are both regulars when it comes to the trail at J.F. Gregory Park. When I told them about a recent incident where a woman says she was followed and grabbed, it put them on edge.

“I think with what had happened, I definitely wouldn’t come out here by myself," said Green.

“In the fall time this is absolutely my place of peace, I spend with the Lord, I come in tune with nature. So, I do feel very safe out here," said Washington.

According to the police report, the incident happened just after 6 p.m. on October 11. A woman in her 50′s was walking and a man tried to hold her hand and started making kissing noises.

Captain Brad Sykes says this is not something that happens in the area.

“We rarely get reports like this in Richmond Hill, this is the only one we’ve had in the park that I can remember. Of course, it makes us wonder what’s going on, we don’t want this to happen again obviously so we will patrol the park a little bit more and keep our eyes out, and we ask for the citizens to do the same thing and let us know if they see anything suspicious," said Capt. Bead Sykes with the Richmond Hill Police Department.

He says security is always top of mind.

“Right now we don’t have any cameras back on the trail, we have discussed adding some cameras throughout the city next year; we budgeted for that. Not sure exactly what locations just yet, but there will be some cameras within the city coming soon.”

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Photo: WTOC

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