Livonia police release sketch of man suspected in Hines Park sexual assault

28-year-old woman says she was attacked while jogging on bike path

LIVONIA, Mich. – Police released a sketch Monday afternoon of a person suspected of a sexual assault that occurred in Edward Hines Park.

Officers went to the park about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 and a 28-year-old woman told them she had been attacked while jogging on the bike path west of Levan Road.

"We've had a lot people concerned about it, and I don't want them to feel unsafe down there. We've stepped up our patrols. The Wayne County sheriff has stepped up their patrols. It's generally a very safe park," Capt. Robert Nenciarini said.

The woman told officers that a man had wrapped his arms around her neck and struck her on the side of her face. She struggled with the attacker as he attempted to drag her toward the Rouge River. Police said the man attempted to remove her clothing and told her that he wanted to have sex with her.

"Emotionally she's pretty shook up about it and we're not very happy about that either," Nenciarini said.

The victim was able to fight off the man and run away. She flagged down a motorist and used his phone to call police. Officers weren't able to find the attempted rapist.

"It's pretty serious and it's pretty alarming to us," Nenciarini said.

Police have received a few tips and have been combing through them, but nothing has panned out yet.

Nenciarini said they also did a lineup with Ikeike Smith, the accused serial rapist in Dearborn, because of the time frame, but the victim did not identify him as the suspect in the incident from last Sunday in Hines Park.

Carol Zelenka lives in the Hines Park area and comes to the park often.

"I walk everyday here. It's a beautiful park. You see people walking, jogging, picnicking," Zelenka said.

Zelenka said she always carries mace with her on her walks for safety.

"It's the first time something like this has happened, what do you do, you just watch yourself, get yourself a little spray," Zelenka said.

Nenciarini is hoping they catch the suspect soon to alleviate all of the worries from the community.

"I happen to enjoy Hines park. A lot of people do. It's a fun and safe place and we want to keep it that way too," Nenciarini said.

The man is described as black, approximately 28-30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 180 pounds with a muscular build. He has short dark hair and is clean shaven. He was wearing a tight fitting black or gray compression-style shirt and dark-colored cargo shorts.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Livonia Police Department at 734-466-2470.

About the Author:

Koco joined the Local 4 News team in September of 2016. She was born and raised in Metro Detroit, attended Central Michigan University, and previously worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.