CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Police say an attack on a woman near Appalachian Power Park in Charleston Tuesday night was highly unusual.

“In that area at that time especially,” said Charleston Police Sgt. Tony Hazelett. “There was people coming in and out of Power Park and there was a lot of foot traffic and vehicle traffic.”

The victim had parked her car in the 1300 block of Smith Street and was walking toward the park to meet up with her husband when he got off work. The woman was approached by a man asking for money. Hazelett said the woman politely told him she had no money and kept walking, but the suspect followed her.

“The male kept following her, she stepped up her pace and he was still following her,” Hazelett said. “When she went to take off running, he grabbed her by the hair of the head, pulled her to the ground, and dragged her behind a brick building and sexually assaulted her.”

The suspect fled the scene on foot when the attack was over. He’s described as a white male in his 50s, 5’10”, medium build with tattoos on his arms, long stringy gray hair with an unshaven face. The victim told police he looked like a homeless man.

Sgt. Hazelett said the woman did everything that is normally recommended to protect herself from being a target.

“She didn’t want to sit in the car because she knew it wasn’t a safe parking area. She never provoked it,” said Hazelett. “She was polite and told him no she didn’t have any money. She picked up the pace and he followed her.”

The woman was taken to Charleston’s Women and Children’s Hospital where she was treated and released. Police said they are working to obtain video surveillance in the area which may have captured the man’s image both before and after the attack.

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  • Rocko

    The east end of Charleston has always been full of all kinds of crime. Heck,back in the 80's it wasn't safe running around after dark in this area...especially now!! The east end hasn't changed for 40 or more yrs!!

  • Baseball fan

    I'm sorry to hear this and hope that the woman has a full recovery and that the police catch the guy that did this.
    Another commentator hit the nail on the head about the drunks inside and outside the ball park. I used to go to a lot of games but not anymore. Too much drinking. I'm not a teetotaler, but Appy park has become a place to party and drink. Not many people watch the game while there. Some of the "fan" behaviour is embarassing. Not a place for familes anymore...

    • Sick&Titred

      Sounds a lot like a WV football game

      • Jeff


  • Todd

    I think the officer meant she didn't provoke it by yelling at the guy or smart mouthing him. Nothing more than that. I've been to games there. It's a rathole outside the park. The parking isn't well lit. Homeless people running around, drunks in the park and outside the park. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before. It probably has.

  • Jumbo

    I have had my conceal for years. My wife applied for hers Monday. When she gets her permit I will get her a 9mm Berreta Nano with laser sights . Some dude mess with her like that I hope she puts all 8 shots in his crotch. Time for good people to take it back .

  • Lynn

    Wow, this sounds like the person that attacked the woman in Fayetteville that Metro News reported on at the first of June!

    • sports fan

      read the article again, that happened in oak hill, not fayetteville. 2 totally different areas!

  • Shaking My Head

    " 'She didn’t want to sit in the car because she knew it wasn’t a safe parking area. She never provoked it,' said Hazelett."

    She never provoked it?? Of course she never provoked it! How exactly does one provoke rape??

  • Dumb Liberals

    "Hazelett said the woman did everything that is normally recommended to protect herself from being a target" except for one thing - a CCP and the weapon. Then she could have dropped the POS in his tracks with his di** in his hand.

    The suspect, a w/m, 50s, 5’10″, medium build, tattoos on his arms, long stringy gray hair, and an unshaven face. Gee, that describes have the folks in Charleston.

  • william

    I never leave home without my two buddies -
    Everybody should carry a gun, only way to get rid of the bad guys fast.

  • Stacy

    Please Sgt. Hazelett, tell us about a case where a woman "provoked" sexual assault? why would you say that?

  • wsr

    Sorry to hear this, but if only she would've had a gun.

  • Dennis

    Sorry to hear this, I hope she recovers both physically and mentally from this attack. This is another reason to carry a gun in Danny Jone's great city.