Violent Attack Along Local Trail Rattles Eastside Neighborhood - A woman was gardening when a jogger came off the East Lake Sammamish Trail, down her driveway, and shoved her.

July 23, 2003

By Molly Shen

SAMMAMISH, WA- A violent attack along a local trail has rattled an Eastside neighborhood.

A woman was gardening when a jogger came off the East Lake Sammamish Trail, down her driveway, put both hands on her back and shoved her.

"Right on my face," says the woman who asked not to be identified. "It happened so suddenly and he pushed me so hard, I didn't have a chance to be defensive and put my hands down. I fell right on my face and my mouth."

The woman was seriously hurt. She had scrapes on her forehead, cheek and around her eye. And three of her teeth were damaged.

"One was knocked out, one was broken and actually pushed up into my upper jawbone," she says.

The man never said a word. He just took off running down a trail that is closed to the public.

"I just felt like I had been violated," says another trail neighbor, Kathy Schroeder. "When I saw her face, it was incredible. Half of her face looked like red, raw hamburger."

Sammamish Police stepped up patrols of the trail. Officers are out on dirt bikes, bicycles and on foot.

"We've been riding the trails looking for, you know, proactively trying to prevent burglaries or inappropriate uses of the trails and so on," explains officer Ken Williams.

But there are no leads in this case or in an earlier attack. A few months ago a jogger on the trail knocked over someone's garbage can and then yelled to the homeowner, "next time it's you."

Neighbors worry that if it was the same man, he's getting more violent.

And the attack just adds to their worries about opening the trail to the public. King County hopes to open it soon, but neighbors have sued to delay it.

No one knows if the attacker is angry at neighbors for challenging the county's plan.

"I can't imagine," says the victim. "I wasn't on the trail. I didn't see him, there was not a word was spoken. I can't imagine other than he's a violent person."

Police say no one should be on the East Lake Sammamish Trail, even neighbors who live alongside it.

If you see anyone on the trail, call 911.


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