Police: Man groping women on popular Vancouver walking trail
VANCOUVER, Wash. - A groper is targeting women on a popular walking trail. Police are asking for the public's help to find the man responsible.
There's one thing that makes him stand out. He's been riding a skateboard on Burnt Bridge Creek Trail.
The green-way is a popular eight-mile trek that goes through the heart of the city. It's a tranquil place for people to come exercise.
"It's just a good route for us and we get a hill in so it's good exercise," said Leah Black.
Black walks part of the trail with a friend almost every day.
"We see a variety of people but I've never thought anybody was threatening or made me uncomfortable," explained Black.
Other women have felt uncomfortable on the trail this week. On Monday morning, police said a man riding a skateboard groped one woman near Highway 500. The woman also told police he also exposed himself and made a sexual request.
"I'm sure it would shake you up to encounter somebody like that but I have my loaded water bottle. I'd probably swing it at him," Black said.
On Wednesday morning, a different woman said she was groped by a man also riding a skateboard. She was near Falk Road.
Both women were able to get away and call police.
Jennifer Lancaster believes it. She runs the trail a few days a week.
"I'm sure it happens. It's a crazy town. There are crazy people everywhere," Lancaster said.
She said, for the most part, it's safe on the trail. She has a plan if she feels threatened by another person.
"I just kind of stay away from them. Don't make eye contact, distance myself," said Lancaster.
Black also has a plan to stay safe.
"I avoid walking when it's dark. I wouldn't come out here really super early before the sun came up or late at night. And, I do always walk with a friend. I don't walk by myself," Black said.
Police believe the groper is the same man. They're looking for a man in his 20s with shaggy hair, wearing a white T-shirt and cargo shorts. He could also be wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark sunglasses. In both cases he was either riding or carrying a skateboard.
Anyone with information about the suspect should call Vancouver Police.