Bike trail just west of Hobart's Robinson Lake. | Carole Carlson~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 10, 2014 6:30AM
GARY — A 27-year-old Hobart woman reported she was robbed and assaulted by a man who may have tried to rape her Tuesday while she was on the bike path near Liverpool Road at the Gary-Hobart border, a police report states.
The victim told Cpl. Frank Nanney she was riding her bicycle shortly after noon and was entering the tunnel where the path crosses under Interstate 65 when the suspect knocked her off her bike, Gary police spokeswoman Cpl. Gabrielle King said Wednesday.
“The victim also reports the suspect fondled her, she was able to get away from him and fled to a residence in Hobart,” King said.
The Gary police report lists the offenses as sexual assault, attempted rape, battery, criminal confinement and strong-arm robbery. The assailant also took the woman’s cellphone, King said.
Hobart officers initially responded, but after speaking to the victim, learned the attack happened in Gary. The victim was treated at a local hospital for injuries suffered in the attack, police said.
The victim provided a description of a black man in his late teens or early 20s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighing about 140 pounds, King said. The victim did not describe the man’s clothing to police, King said.
Within minutes after the woman reported the incident, Hobart officers stopped a black man who was riding a bicycle on the path near Eighth and Lake streets, but officers learned he was not the suspect.
Hobart police patrol the bike path in its jurisdiction during the summer using all-terrain vehicles and modified squad cars, police said.
Gary police have ATVs, but use them to patrol the Lake Michigan beach, King said. Officers do not patrol the bike path.
King said she does not recall any other similar incidents on the bike path in recent months.
Gary CSI collected evidence at the scene and Detective Cpl. Shauna Poirier-Peter is investigating the Hobart woman’s assault.