2017-07-13 / Front Page

Woman assaulted in Wildwood, police say

Authorities searching neighborhood for person responsible
By Dawn Megli-Thuna

Deputies with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office look for clues in Wildwood Regional Park this morning after an alleged assault.



RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn NewspapersDeputies with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office look for clues in Wildwood Regional Park this morning after an alleged assault. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn NewspapersAuthorities are investigating an early morning assault on a jogger in Wildwood Regional Park.

An intense search today through a neighborhood near the park’s entrance failed to locate the man who police say attacked and robbed a woman who was jogging alone on a trail around 6:20 a.m.

According to authorities, the victim, described as a local resident in her 30s, was on a mesa about one mile west of the park’s Avenida de Los Arboles entrance when she heard footsteps running up behind her.

She turned to look and saw a tall man with his face covered.

During a short struggle, the man took the victim’s cellphone and ran north toward the entrance of the park. The assailant dropped the phone as he fled. The woman was frightened, but not injured, police said.

Investigators found a switchblade in the Wildwood parking lot and entered it into evidence. It’s unclear if the knife belonged to the attacker.

Thousand Oaks Police Department Detective Tim Lohman  said witnesses reported seeing the man run into the neighborhood near Big Sky Drive but authorities no longer believe he is there. 

“We have suspended the search of the neighborhood and have entered the investigation stage,” Lohman said.

Police put out a reverse 911 call to alert residents in the neighborhood that police were searching the area. Helicopter and canine units are helping in the search while deputies go door to door.

The Conejo Recreation and Park District had two camps operating in Wildwood on Friday. A group of 44 campers spent the night at campsite four in Wildwood Canyon.

CRPD general manager Jim Friedl said the overnight campers are safe and will hike out of the canyon at the regularly scheduled time.

A day camp of 39 campers at Wildwood Neighborhood Park is also open today.

“The kids’ safety is our first and foremost concern,” Friedl said. The assailant is described as a tall man wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with relevant information should call sheriff’s dispatch at (805) 654-9511 or Sgt. Dan Hawes at (805) 947-8359.

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