Police Searching For Man Who Tried To Drag Hiking Woman Into Bushes

Jul 9, 2021, 1:34 PM | Updated: 11:09 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman hiking in Big Cottonwood Canyon made a daring escape after she was attacked by a man. Now, police said they are looking for her attacker.

Big Cottonwood Canyon draws all kinds this time of year, but in a place that’s also alluring to cougars and bears, a different kind of predator was apparently watching and waiting.

“We had a woman that was hiking up Big Cottonwood Canyon, off of Butler Fork, on the Dog Lake trail,” said Sgt. Melody Cutler with the Unified Police Department. “A man came up behind her and grabbed her, grabbed a hold of her backpack and tried to pull her into the bushes.”

The attack, which occurred in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday, only lasted a few seconds.

“He grabbed her again, she pepper-sprayed him, ran down the mountain” said Cutler.

The woman got to the trailhead and called police.

“It was actually one of those packs where you carry a child — her daughter was in that,” said Cutler. “Yeah, very frightening.”

Investigators now desperately want to find that man, who was described by police as a heavy-set man, more than six feet tall, with a long white or blond beard. He had freckles and wore a face mask and a black hoodie.

“We don’t know what his intentions were, and there’s always the fear he will either escalate or try again,” said Cutler.

In a place that is a draw to many, hikers don’t want to see any more of this.

“I mean, it’s definitely a concern, especially when it’s just myself,” said Tauteoli. “I think that it’s about awareness, so, you know, now that I know that — I’ll be a little more extra aware, especially when it’s myself with my two little ones.

Anyone with information has been asked contact police at 801-743-7000 and reference case No. 21-89795.

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Police Searching For Man Who Tried To Drag Hiking Woman Into Bushes