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Woman Attacked On Lakefront Bike Path

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Lakefront Bike Path

A man tried to kidnap a woman last week on the lakefront bike path near 35th Street. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 06/16/11 11:01 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Joggers are being warned after a man attacked a woman on the bike path alongside Lake Shore Drive in broad daylight last week.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the area near 35th Street where the attack happened this past Friday is quiet, family-friendly, and visible to Lake Shore Drive.

The 30-year-old woman was jogging through Burnham Park on the bike path around 2:10 p.m. Friday afternoon when her run turned nightmarish.

Police say the man grabbed the woman as she ran south on the path and tried to take her iPod. A police community alert says further that the man tried to abduct the woman and drag her to an unspecified area nearby.

The woman broke free after a brief struggle, during which a police report says the woman threw her iPod at the man and scratched him.

The man took off running north, away from the woman.

The incident has been disturbing for people who frequent the area, including Regina Bajko.

When asked if she was surprised by the incident, Bajko said, “A little bit, but it’s our society today.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports

Bajko and a friend walk the path every morning before work. She said that would not change, and that she and her friend they feel safe together.

But Bajko said she wouldn’t come through the area alone.

“No, we were just talking about that, no I wouldn’t,” Bajko said. “Just in general, I think, you just have to be cautious.

Andy Pruitt was bicycling in the area Thursday morning. He said he was not more concerned than before.

“My wife is out here running a couple of times a week. I don’t worry about it,” Pruitt said. “Once every 10 years – I’m not going to worry about that.”

Pruitt said the recent attack will not change his or his wife’s exercise routine along the lakefront.

“There’s always people here. There’s always police riding their bicycles up and down the lakefront; Park District employees,” he said. “This never seemed like a dangerous place.”

The attacker is described as a 19 to 21-year-old black man with a dark complexion between 5-feet-11 and 6-feet tall, the alert said. He weighs between 200 and 210 pounds and was wearing blue jeans and blue boxer shorts with no shirt.

Police are advising people to be aware of the situation and alert neighbors in the area. The alert is also asking people to not walk alone and stay in well lit areas.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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