ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- The Alpharetta Police Department is on the hunt for a suspect in a "bold and brazen" attempted sexual assault at a park late Tuesday morning.
According to Alpharetta Police, a woman was pushing her 1-year-old child along a path near the equestrian center at Wills Park around 11:30 a.m. when a man approached and tried to pepper spray her.
Police said the peppery spray missed hitting the woman in the face, but the suspect then forced her up against one of the buildings along the path and tried to sexually assault her.
Investigators said the woman immediately began to fight back and screamed loudly, attracting the attention of bystanders and leading the suspect to run away on foot.
"She elbowed and kicked and screamed just like she should have, and did a fantastic job," said Alpharetta Director of Public Safety John Robison, praising the woman's actions. "Because of that, and some folks nearby, he was not successful in his ultimate goal."
The victim was treated on scene and released, and the child was not harmed in any way. Officials said they are now working with the woman and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to develop a suspect sketch as part of their investigation.
"I am very confident we are going to apprehend the suspect in this case," Robison said.
He called the suspect's alleged attack brazen and bold; the incident happened around lunchtime, when the park is usually filled with people. Robison said there were cameras in the area, and they are working with witnesses who saw the incident to develop more leads. Right now, police said they are looking for a black male between the ages of 35 to 40-year-old. He was last seen wearing a gray shirt with patches, gray pants and all black shoes.
The incident is still under investigation, but police are stressing to residents that this type of incident is out of the ordinary and that Alpharetta's parks are safe.
"This is a rare and isolated incident for Alpharetta," Robison said. However, he said they would be increasing their police presence at parks throughout the city, including bike patrols and foot patrols.
But parents who frequent the park said that the incident still has them concerned not only for their safety, but also for the safety of their kids.
"There are people out here that are definitely in our community wanting to hurt people," said Alpharetta resident Amanda Brier.
If anyone has any information on the alleged assault, they are asked to call police.
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