Gymnastics Center That Employed Man Charged With Attacking Woman on Prairie Path Releases Statement

It is the second time in recent months a woman has been attacked in broad daylight on the popular trail, according to police

The suburban gymnastics center where a man charged with attacking a woman on a popular prairie path worked issued a statement as the offender appeared in court Wednesday.

Matthew D. Grover, 31, of the 26W600 block of Lindsey Aven, Winfield, was charged with aggravated battery.

Grover was employed as a coach at Bartlett Gymnastics in the west suburb of Bartlett.

"Tonight, we were shocked to find out about Matt Grover’s arrest earlier this evening," the owners said in a letter to parents of students. "Please note this incident and arrest was unrelated to Bartlett Gymnastics."

The letter states Grover is no longer employed by the company and is "not allowed on the premises." 

Police say a woman was out walking on a normally busy stretch of the popular path between County Farm and Pleasant Hill Roads at approximately 3:30 p.m. Monday when she was grabbed by a man from behind.

"Grover was interviewed by detectives today and he confessed to yesterday’s attack," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "Additionally, when confronted with the facts of a similar attack investigated by the Sheriff’s Office in late September of 2016, Grover also confessed to being the assailant in that attack."

The woman struggled and managed to break away, police said, and the attacker then took off running. He was last seen heading south towards on the path towards the intersection of Churchill and Peter Roads, according to the DuPage County sheriff's office.

Many residents told NBC 5 that on most spring days the typically tranquil Illinois Prairie Path is filled with runners, walkers and bicyclists. [[420386293, C]]

“This little section of the path is pretty busy, so there’s usually somebody coming along,” said Dave Hicks, a frequent runner on the path. 

The other incidents in which Grover is suspected by police is pending DNA testing, authorities said.

Grover, who is currently being held in DuPage County Jail in lieu of $200,000, is due back in court May 8.

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