CHICAGO (CBS) — A Schaumburg man accused of dragging a woman off a forest preserve running path in Hoffman Estates and sexually assaulting her was out on bond Wednesday night, and police believe she is not the only victim.
Police are encouraging more victims to come forward.
“I walk, ride my bike, go cross country skiing in the winter,” said Maureen Stabile, who uses the forest preserve.
“Sometimes it’s quiet and peaceful,” said Ellen Behrman, who also visits the forest preserve. “It’s secluded. It’s away from more crime in the city.”
It’s possibly what attracted 27-year-old Ryan Patterson of Schaumburg. The Cook County Sheriff said he was recently on the trails, and is now accused of assaulting a woman in the Arthur Janura Forest Preserve about two weeks ago.
“I’ve never had a reason to question my safety, possible, but to know that it’s a possibility that somebody could be assaulted here in a usually well traveled path that’s so close to my home is disturbing,” said Stabile.
“I’ll still come out here, but I’ll be more aware, look around more,” said Behrman.
The 48-year-old victim was on a trail around 8:15 p.m. when Patterson allegedly attacked, dragging her off the path into a wooded area where the sheriff said she was sexually assaulted.
Her phone was also tossed in the brush.
“I’d have second thoughts about walking alone on these paths,” said Stabile. “If there are any more victims out there, I would hope they would hear about this and come forward and help provide evidence.”
Patterson is now on electronic monitoring.