Man arrested after groping woman running in Woodward Park

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Fresno police tracked down the suspect and arrested him for sexual battery. (KFSN)

A woman on a run in Woodward Park last week has a warning after a man groped her. Fresno police tracked down the suspect and arrested him for sexual battery.

Kristen Escobar is a long distance runner who spends a lot of time on trails around the Central Valley. But last Friday afternoon in Woodward Park she was confronted by a young man whose behavior concerned her from the start.

"I was checking my peripheral immediately after I passed him. So I was very aware that not only did he stop, he switched directions and started following me in the direction that I was going," said Escobar.

Fresno police said shortly after she turned around to head back to an area where more people were, he followed her then grabbed her buttocks.

"The suspect's name is John Dill, 19 years of age. He says he is not from this area, he says he is homeless and he lives in the area of Blackstone and Herndon. The arresting officer told him he is not to come here anymore," said Joe Gomez, Fresno Police Department.

The victim said the suspect's bizarre behavior became clear after she sat down on a bench and he did too-- then kicked off his shoes. Then she got up and ran.

"It was very quick. He came up on me very quick and the only reason why I heard him coming is because he was in his socks still, and running on the pavement-- it kinda slapped and so I heard him coming up on me," said Escobar.

After assaulting her, she ran to a gate attendant and called police. Officers tracked down Dill minutes after arriving.

The victim forgot to bring her phone Friday. She didn't expect to run into trouble-- but now she is always armed with a way to call for help and a weapon to defend against predators.

Related Topics:
sexual assaultgropingwoodward parkrunningfresnocrimetrackerFresno
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