Woman attacked, robbed on popular walking trail in Atlanta, police say

ATLANTA — A woman says she was walking down a popular trail in Atlanta when she was attacked by a stranger in the middle of the day.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings learned last week, the woman told police she was on the Freedom Trail path when a man walked past her, headed in the opposite direction. She said to be polite, she smiled at him. That's when she told investigators the man suddenly turned around, came up to her and started touching her by putting his hand up her shirt, and touching her in other inappropriate ways.

She fought back, punching the man until he managed to snatch her phone and run away. She ran to Bernina Avenue and called 911.

The victim told police the man was about 5 foot, 5 inches, average build and looked to be about 40 years old. He was wearing a black Broncos shirt. No arrests have been made.

Jennings went to the area where the attack happened and met with joggers who said it made them feel unsafe.

“Just for somebody to like randomly come up to somebody, it’s just really not something you want to hear,” said walker Niamaka Pope.


The trail is part of a path that goes all the way to Stone Mountain

“You’ve just got to keep your eye out and be vigilant of your surroundings, and not keep your phone in your hand, like I am right now," said jogger Nikki Arenas.

Atlanta police said right now there isn't a unit specifically assigned to the Freedom Trail. Path Force officers patrol the areas where the trail meets the Beltline. But after this attack, police said officers in the area were put on high alert:

At this time, we do not have a unit specifically assigned to the Freedom Trail.  It is patrolled by Zone 6 officers, with Path Force officers patrolling in areas where the trail intersects with the Beltline. After this incident occurred,  officers patrolling those areas were made aware of it and placed on high alert. Crimes like this are something we take very seriously and our officers remain vigilant, working to ensure the safety of those using these trails. We ask that people remain aware of their surroundings and call 911 to report any suspicious activity they may observe. 
While we aren't able to pull crime numbers specific to the Freedom Trail, we did reach out to the Path Force commander as well as our Special Victims Unit commander, both of whom were unaware of a similar incidents occurring in this area recently.