A teen girl was attacked and sexually assaulted Monday evening while walking along the Robert McClory Bike Path in Beach Park, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
The 16-year-old was walking at about 7:30 p.m. when a man "came out of the tree line and approached the victim" on the path just north of Yorkhouse Road, according to the sheriff's office.
"After approaching the victim, he took her forcefully by the neck and shoved her to the ground," according to a statement from the sheriff's office spokesman. "He then forcefully removed her clothing and sexually assaulted her."
A nearby resident heard the teen screaming during the attack and started yelling to her to run to them for help. The man ran away, and the teen ran to the resident, who called 911 for help. The teen was taken to an area hospital for treatment from injuries during the attack.
Police said the man had "numerous metal hair barrettes in his hair, which is a very unique identifier."
A search of the man by sheriff’s deputies and canines led them to believe he fled in a vehicle.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 847-377-4000.