Assaults near Kamm Island and Beutter Park raise concern in Mish - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Assaults near Kamm Island and Beutter Park raise concern in Mishawaka

Imagine walking your dog in the park, or even with a friend, and being grabbed by a stranger,

"That makes me a little bit nervous," says Zuzanna Zmud.

Zuzanna Zmud and her family were out for a picnic near Kamm's Island Park in Mishawaka, when I told them about two reported assaults.  

 "I guess you just don't know how you're going to react until it really happens," she says.

Police say the first victim told them she was walking her dog on June 27th.     
It was still daylight when a suspect riding a bike grabbed her arm and knocked her down. She says she screamed and got away,

 "Well being vocal and being loud is definitely a good idea," Zmud says.

The second report came in over the holiday weekend. A woman told police she was walking with a friend when the suspect came up from behind, put his hand around her mouth and pulled her backwards. She also got away.  Even though the thought of being grabbed in the park is scary, Mishawaka Police say crime's actually down in Mishawaka Parks, and that's something volunteer patrol crews can attest to.

"I was surprised to hear that. I've been doing it for six years and I've never run across it," says Jerry Goeller.

Jerry Goeller is with Mishawaka's Citizen's Alliance Police. He says his crews patrol the parks whenever they can, and report what they see to police.

 "If we see anything, we just call it in," he says.

Goeller says violent incidents aren't common, but women we talked to say it's important to be prepared,

"I myself would fight back like no tomorrow, you know, I'm going to fight back like I'm not going to let him take me anywhere I don't want to go," says Susan Fox while walking her dog.

" I think it's a good thing to always have someone with you no matter where you are in public," says Zmud.

The suspect has not been caught yet. Police say both victims described the same man. A black man in his early 20's about 5'7". They say he was wearing a large flat bill hat and tight fitting bike shorts.

The Mishawaka Police Department Detective Bureau asks that you call them (574-258-1684) or Michiana Crime Stoppers (574-288-7867) if you have any tips about the suspect.

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