A Columbus police official said he believes Schiller Park is safe, despite a sexual assault that occurred last week.

A Columbus police official said he believes Schiller Park is safe, despite a sexual assault that occurred last week.

At 6:50 a.m. Aug. 29, a 26-year-old woman said she was accosted by an unknown assailant while she was jogging near Reinhard Avenue and Mohawk Street in the German Village park.

According to Columbus Division of Police incident reports, the woman was jogging along the park when a white male, between the ages of 35 and 50, wrapped his arms around her from her behind. The suspect is described as having a scraggly beard, brown hair, standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds.

The victim screamed and fought to free herself. The man ran away.

The event was captured on video from a private surveillance system installed at a residence along the park, said Columbus Police Sgt. Terry McConnell of the sexual assault unit.

The video also captured a man on a bicycle riding by at the time of the assault. McConnell said he is not a suspect but police would like to question him, McConnell said.

Precinct officers are looking at the area more closely, he said.

But it's not the only recent incident in the park. Others include:

* A 60-year-old Columbus man was arrested for disorderly conduct Aug. 29.

* A 24-year-old man was charged with public indecency Aug. 21. In that incident officers were dispatched to the location at 6:50 p.m. on a report of a male masturbating on a bench.

* A $300 flat-screen television was stolen between 3:30 and 4 p.m. July 22 from the Schiller Recreation Center, 1069 Jaeger St.

* Landscaping equipment valued at $1,700 was stolen from a city truck between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. June 21.

"For the most part, it's safe," McConnell said. "Those property crimes were probably a matter of opportunity."

Sexual assaults are rare in Schiller Park, he said.

"A lot of it just comes down to the population in the park and we get a lot of homeless people in the park," McConnell said, "but to have people accosted, it's not very common down there.

"We tell people if you're going to any park, it doesn't matter where, be aware of your surroundings."

Katharine Moore, chairwoman of the Friends of Schiller Park organization, said she hopes police can catch the perpetrator.

"Of course, Friends of Schiller Park is heartsick to hear somebody was attacked in the park," Moore said.

"It's a place we like to think is safe, friendly and enhances our lives, and does not have incidents of this nature.

"We feel good about the lighting that's in place throughout the park," she said.

"I think it's pretty remarkable that at all hours, from very early hours through the evening, how many runners and walkers you see," Moore said.

"And, I think we all feel a safe sense of security in numbers."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary