Person Of Interest In Custody After Highline Canal Attack

By Andrea Flores

DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Police have a person of interest in custody after a woman was attacked on the Highline Canal Trail Friday afternoon.

Leasa Rhoades lives in the neighborhood and said the recent attack has her neighbors on edge.

The Highline Canal (credit: CBS)

The Highline Canal (credit: CBS)

“They’re afraid to walk the trail,” said Rhoades. “I won’t walk on the trail with my daughter.”

Denver police said a woman walking along the trail, near Dartmouth and Forest, was attacked by a man around noon Friday.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified told CBS4’s Andrea Flores he came across the victim just seconds after the attack.

CBS4's Andrea Flores interviews a man who did not want to be identified (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Andrea Flores interviews a man who did not want to be identified (credit: CBS)

“I was walking the trail and I ran into her down at the bridge, and she was in tears,” the man said.

The victim was able to snap a picture as the suspect was walking away. She described the suspect as a man in his 20s, around 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with short dreadlocks and a beard.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

By chance, the Good Samaritan said he ran into a man who fit the suspect description standing on a bridge along the trail Saturday afternoon and called police.

Denver Police took Demarcus Bookhart into custody as a person of interest.

Rhoades worries Bookhart, 25, may be living in her neighborhood.

“I’ve lived here for about 16 years, and I’ve seen him over the summer skateboarding up and down the street,” Rhoades said.

A sketch of the suspect wanted in a Highline Canal attack (credit: Denver Police)

A sketch of the suspect wanted in a Highline Canal attack (credit: Denver Police)

Residents said this is the second attack on the trail in recent weeks.

“It’s a perfectly safe little trail, nobody ever had to worry about this trail before, but twice in ten days, random assaults of women, that’s pretty bad news,” an unidentified neighbor said.

Denver Police are still investigating the assault.

Andrea Flores is a reporter for CBS4. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @AndreaFloresTV.

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