Runner reports chilling encounter on Mill Creek trail


YOUNGSTOWN

Over the course of many outdoor runs, Allison Jeric has never felt afraid.

That changed Monday, when the 37-year-old Salem woman was running on a trail in Mill Creek MetroParks and had an experience that left her shaken, but determined to warn others.

She detailed the incident in a blog post Thursday.

Jeric was running on a West Newport foot trail south of Lanterman’s Mill on Monday afternoon, according to a MetroParks police report.

As she was running, she ran by a male on the trail and greeted him, as she does everyone she passes, with, “Hi.”

Jeric said she kept running, then turned around shortly thereafter to head back from where she came. That was when she saw the male had followed her and was now performing a sexual act on himself and making “lewd” comments to her, she said.

At that moment, fear flooded her.

“I thought I was going to die,” Jeric said. “I thought I was going to get raped. I thought something horrible was going to happen to me. I had never felt that immediate sense of, ‘This might be it.’”

Jeric ran away as fast as she could, but the trail dead-ended with a creek. She quickly back-tracked, scared the male was lying in wait somewhere near the trail.

She made it back to the mill area without seeing him. In her blog post, Jeric recalled sitting and crying for five minutes once she got back to the mill, then heading back to her car and calling the police as soon as she got home. She was too scared to even make eye contact with anyone else she passed in the park before leaving.

The incident followed a report in late April that a woman was attacked in the park.

Read more about the matter in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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