“My Opinion on This; They Did Do the Right Thing, and They Intervened. They Saw Someone in Trouble, and They Helped”

After dark on 1 July 2015, three friends stopped an alleged sex attack taking place along a greenway trail in Springfield, Missouri. They heard screams and used a cell phone flashlight to guide their way down the South Creek Greenway Trail to the place from which the screams were coming. They found a 22-year-old man wearing only boxer shorts on top of a 14-year-old girl. One of the friends pulled the alleged attacker off the girl while another friend called 911. Springfield Police Lieutenant Culley Wilson said, “This was not a random attack.  We do believe they knew each other in some way.” He added, “We always want someone to call the police, which [the three friends] did.  Most times we don’t want somebody intervening in a violent crime.  My opinion on this; they did do the right thing, and they intervened.  They saw someone in trouble, and they helped.” The girl appeared to be in extreme shock or possibly under the influence of something. The alleged attacker denied raping her. A week after the attack, the girl was still hospitalized. Police were still investigating, but they arrested the suspect and charged him with 1st degree rape or attempted rape and 2nd degree attempted statutory rape. Springfield Police Lieutenant Culley Wilson said, “Always be aware of where you’re at, who’s around you, who’s behind you, that sort of thing.  Our trails are, for the most part, very safe, but you always want to be aware of what’s going on around you at all times.”

Source: Linda Russell, “Teen sexually assaulted on Springfield trail.” KY3. 9 July 2015 <http://tinyurl.com/zsaqnza>.

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