Police investigate latest attack on jogger in West Bay

A woman jogging along a trail in West Bay’s Barkers area was jumped by an attacker just after dawn Friday, the latest in a string of attacks on women that have plagued the district since last year.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said the woman was attacked from behind by a man wearing a blue shirt to cover his face.

The suspect ran away, leaving the woman with what police said were “minor scratches” that did not require hospitalization. The suspect was described as 5 feet, six inches tall, brown-skinned, and possibly in his mid-20s.

“[The RCIPS] is asking that persons, especially women, take extra precautions to ensure their personal safety,” a statement from the police read. There have been a number of attacks on women, mostly joggers or walkers, in the district since last fall.

The attacks include an indecent assault on Feb. 1 on Conch Point Road; a knife attack on Jan. 10 in the Batabano area; a purse snatching on Powery Road on Jan. 12 following a struggle; and two indecent assaults reported on Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, 2016 – reportedly committed by the same suspect.

West Bay district council member Jeana Ebanks said earlier this year that she learned of other incidents through a local internet chat group “that were unreported” to the police. She said there were at least three other incidents during November-December 2016.

The more recent attacks in West Bay mirror a series of incidents between mid-2015 and early 2016 in West Bay and in George Town, where a suspect set upon female joggers during the early morning hours. At least nine attacks on female joggers were reported to police between May 2015 and February 2016.

All of those attacks occurred either shortly before dawn or just after dawn, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said.

The perpetrators were not always described as violent, but typically were aggressive, groping and grabbing the women.

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