On November 11, 2018 at approximately 7:00 p.m., the Mount Ephraim Police Department received a call for an assault at Haddon Lake Park. An adult female reported that while running the track around the lake, she was grabbed from behind by an unknown male and forced into a struggle.
The victim was able to get away from the assailant, thankfully suffering only minor scrapes and abrasions. As she fled the scene, the victim observed a male wearing a puffy black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, possibly a mask and black shoes running into the wooded area towards the Mount Ephraim Little League baseball fields.
Oaklyn Police Department’s K9 team was able to respond quickly to assist with a search, which resulted in locating a male fitting the description of the assailant. That male was taken into custody, questioned and later released with unrelated charges. This male is still considered a suspect but has not been directly tied to or charged with the assault at this time.
This case is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Jason Dobleman at email@example.com or Mount Ephraim Police dispatch at (856)931-2220.
The Mt. Ephraim PD is also taking this opportunity to address some good practices and safety tips for runners and walkers. Please consider incorporating some or all of these practices in your daily running routines.
- Try to refrain from running during night or low light hours. If you must, carry a flashlight or head mounted light to light your route and help you maintain awareness of your surroundings. Running at night should never be done in areas you are unfamiliar with.
- Wear bright reflective clothing and try to remain in well lit portions of your route.
- Always try to run in pairs. Even if you don’t have a running partner, try to stay within visual and audible distances from other runners/walkers and be aware of warnings or signals of danger from those around you.
- Reduce the volume of your audio components or remove them from your running experience all together.
- Hearing is as important as seeing, especially when running alone or at night.
- Prepare your phone for a quick and easy 9-1-1 call. Most mobile devices have features that allow a series of button presses or just a verbal command, to dial 9-1-1. Take advantage of those features to ensure that dialing 9-1-1 can be done quickly and with relative ease.
- Do not hesitate to to call 9-1-1 in any situation where you feel that you or a fellow runner is in danger or distress.
NJ law (2C:39-6) permits the carrying of pepper spray by adults for self-defense purposes (with restrictions). “Any person 18 years of age or older who has not been convicted of a felony, may possess for the purpose of personal self-defense, one pocket-sized device which contains and releases not more than ¾ of an ounce of chemical substance not capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury, but rather is intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or disability through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed into the air.”