Wrong place, wrong time: Person of interest in S.A. park assault case speaks

The man who was questioned in connection to a reported sexual assault at Hardberger Park talks exclusively to KENS 5.

The man who was questioned as a person of interest in the reported sexual assault at Hardberger Park on Tuesday calls the incident a horrible case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because he has not been charged KENS 5 is not identifying the man, who told us he is a regular at the park, well known by other park visitors.

Before he was taken to police headquarters for a formal statement, the person of interest was detained for almost two hours in the park.

Many people who stood by and watched the investigation on Tuesday said that they believed it would make no sense for a man so easily recognizable to so many people to be involved in the attack.

While he spoke to investigators, the man was completely calm and said many times that he would cooperate fully because he had no involvement in the incident and had nothing to hide.

In a phone interview on Tuesday, the man said that the park is an important part of his life and that he is worried that a cloud of suspicion will follow him even though he was not charged.

The man added that he wanted to tell his story publicly but his attorney advised him not to talk at this time.

Also on Tuesday, a woman who was groped on the same trail system back in February said that this new attack is similar to what happened to her less than three miles away at the same time of day by a white man of the same general description.

“He was right in front of me. He was grabbing me. He grabbed my behind. He had his other hand on my hip. I was ready to defend myself," the victims said at the time.

That victim also said that she spoke to the SAPD Special Victims Unit about her concerns and was told that investigators want her to look at a sketch of Tuesday's suspect.

While the investigation continues, police are encouraging people to continue to use the park but use common sense and be vigilant.

Police have increased patrols in the area as there are police officers on foot, park police officers on ATVs that can cover much more ground, and volunteer trail stewards on bicycles, all keeping a vigilant eye on every portion of the busy and heavily-used space.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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