$2,500 reward follows police sketch in Franklin, NJ trail sex assault
FRANKLIN (Somerset) — Law enforcement have released a police artist's sketch of a man wanted for a sexual assault reported along a trail on Monday, and are now offering a reward for information leading to his capture.
The $2,500 reward was announced Friday by Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, according to a release from the county prosecutor's office.
Franklin Township police responded to a 911 call around 6 p.m. from a female runner, who reported being attacked by a man who had been passing on a bicycle near Blackwells Mills Road and Canal Road, in the Six Mile Run area of Delaware & Raritan Canal park.
Police said that the attacker is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-30s, with a heavier build, and about 5 feet 7 inches.
He was last seen wearing black pants or shorts, a green hoodie and a blue gator face covering — and fled the area on his bicycle.
Detectives are urging the public to contact police if they see any individual matching the description provided by the victim.
The woman said that the unknown man got off of his bike while she was running and tackled her to the ground, according to Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart.
As the man tried to sexually assault her, the woman was able to fight back and escape from the assault, immediately dialing for help.
The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment and released.
Police are working to determine if the suspect involved in this recent incident was the same man involved in two different attacks in Somerset and Middlesex Counties reported last year.
2021 park rapes
In September, a woman reported being raped by a man armed with a gun as she walked inside D&R Canal park near the South Brunswick/Plainsboro border, Middlesex County authorities previously said.
In July, a woman reported being sexually assaulted by a man who had been armed with a knife in Duke Island Park, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.
Anyone with potential information relating to the sexual assault can contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at 908-873-5533 or via the STOPit app.
The STOPit app, which can be downloaded to a smart phone for free, allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos.
Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477).
Patrick Lavery contributed to this report.