A 69-year-old grandpa in Chattanooga, Tenn. was raped while out on a stroll early on Monday morning.
Police responded to West Mississippi Ave around 7:30 a.m. on Monday. WRCBTV reports that a more accurate location of the incident will not be released.
Authorities were looking for a black male with a short black afro. The suspect was reported to be around 5’8”—5’9” and around 180-200 pounds.
“We are confirming today it was a sexual assault,” said Chattanooga Police Asst. Chief Dave
“This happened in our city, this happened in our community to one of our citizens,” Asst. Chief Roddy said.
“We want all community members to raise their awareness, adhere to some of the safety protocols we’ve asked them to adhere to.”
On Tuesday afternoon, several runners in the area were shocked to hear about the sexual assault that happened just down the street.
“I have a lot of friends who run in the early morning hours when it’s dark outside,” said Jennifer Hampton of Chattanooga, “And i’ll be more concerned for their safety after this.”
“As long as I’m on the river front I’ve never had any fear,” said Scott Fisher of Rock Springs, “Hearing about what you told me, I can’t believe it hardly.”
Chattanooga Police emailed a news release calling the attack an assault and giving people safety tips to use while running.
Some of the tips from police say people should never run alone, do not use headphones and run with a cell phone at all times.
Runners we spoke with admit they rarely ever carry items with them during a run, and will run alone if they have to.
One runner said knowing it was a sexual assault rather than the vague term “assault” gives her more reason to follow the safety tips provided.
The suspect has been identified as 17-year-old Diontae Smartt.
Smartt has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga.
The family of a boy accused of raping a man jogging in North Chattanooga, says there’s been a mistake. The 17-year-old boy’s mom says her son is a good child and she knows he didn’t do it.
Police arrested the teen at school and officials say he gave a verbal and written confession.
Authorities said he has given a confession.
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