Run Interrupted

Originally I had planned on much nicer posts, but I feel that this is important to write about.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Ben and I decided to go for a run before going to brunch at our usual spot, Blessings. We took Bandit with us. Our plan was to run two loops around Prospect Park, which would be around 6.6 miles. We decided that Bandit should run with me because I would be going at a slower pace and this was Bandit’s first attempt at a longer run.

Because my Garmin synced up first and I was going to run slower, Bandit and I took off before Ben. I wanted a leisurely run, so I ran about a 9:30 pace. After a few minutes, Ben quickly caught up to us and passed us. This did not please Bandit at all. I had to deal with her yipping and yowling, and her desperate attempts at catching up to Ben. Everyone stared at us because it sounded like I was torturing her. I apologetically explained, “She wants her daddy.”

We ran along on the run/bike path of Prospect Park. We watched Ben disappear as we came upon one of the many small meadows in the park. And here, I saw a man exposing himself. I don’t want to say much about this because there’s an on-going investigation. My first thought was to grab my phone and take a picture, but I didn’t bring my phone with me. I quickly flagged down a passing cyclist and called 911. The police responded quite quickly. I gave them all the info I had and then decided to head back in the other direction to find Ben, who by this time would have been looking for me.

As I walked back, I spotted the man again. I ran up to a woman who was holding her phone because I wanted to take a photo. Then a police car came up, so I ran to the car instead and identified him. He was arrested and taken away.

I went to go find Ben and we went to the police station so I could give a statement.

I’m really appreciative of the effectiveness and efficiency of the NYC police in their handling of this matter. I’m glad that I was able to conduct a series of actions that led to the arrest of the perpetrator. I think a big part of the reason why I was able to keep my wits together to take action is because I’ve been reading a lot about sexual assault. I could have very easily just ran very quickly past the perpetrator and shrug off the incident as one of the those unfortunate things that happen to women. But I realized that it was important to take action and fight back.

It’s unfortunate that these things happen. And it happens when you least expect it. I was running in broad daylight in a busy and crowded park. There were several other runners, walkers, and cyclists on the path. I was running without any music/headphones. In short, I was running under “ideal” conditions for safety, but still this happened.

You never know what can happen. Stay safe.

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12 thoughts on “Run Interrupted

  1. Ohhh yuck. I’m sorry that happened to you and I really admire you for thinking fast and getting the police. You never if someone like that is going to turn violent (or whether he already has), and regardless, it IS a sex offense and should not be tolerated. Good job.

  2. Ugh. Gross. Good for you for reporting it though it sucks that it even happened in the first place. I’m also glad you felt that reading about sexual assault helped you take action. I’ve had the same experience so I’ve started talking more about it as well. Just the other day I was harassed while sitting on a main street, in my work clothes, with my notebook out, on a conference call. >:| I think talking about it helps give other women more courage to stand up for themselves and it also helps men realize what women deal with on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing and good luck with anything else that comes up.

    • So many of these offenses have “normalized” so I do think in the past I would have unfortunately accepted as something I would just have to deal with. Reading about other women (and men) standing up to fight against these things made me realize that I don’t have to accept this as something I need to to deal with.

  3. I worried about the guy turning violent, but luckily for me, I was in a crowded location. If he had attacked me, there would have been several people who would have seen and (hopefully) would have helped me. Being in a crowded place made me braver to act.

  4. Oh my gosh – I am not even kidding when I say to you that this actually happened to me a few years ago in the middle of Bethlehem, PA! I was horrified but I didn’t have a phone with me. I was zoned out so I actually ran past him, and as I ran past I realized what was going on. It was awful. But apparently, he did this to other women and got arrested that day so I contacted the police department and had the chance to ID him. What the HELL is the matter with people! So sorry this happened to you.

  5. I’m glad that he got arrested for you too. I also almost ran past the situation, kinda not believing that this was happening, but I forced myself to stop. It’s horrible that these people think that they can get away with this. We can’t let them think/do this.

  6. I had the same thing happen on the East River before with a homeless man on a morning run. So disturbing. It shouldn’t have to be like that. By the way, I took our dog for a run recently and he typically LOVES running. But he is going through a stubborn phase where he tries to stop and pull off where ever he wants to. As we have been training him to heel this is not allowed in general so I stopped and tried to see if he had to go to the bathroom and then we continued on. The little brat also lets out these high pitched yelps that sound like I am torturing him. A girl across the street started screaming at me and called me a horrible person. She told me to stop hitting my dog and that she was feeling for him. I was soooo embarrassed. That little dog created quite the scene!

    • I totally sympathize with your embarrassment. Bandit does her best to make it appear as if we are the worst parents in the world when she doesn’t get her way. Never mind the fact that she’s one spoiled puppy 99% of the time.

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