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.