Woman warns Catherine Bridge trail users to be alert after man exposes himself
The Aspen Times
A woman who was jogging with her dog on a trail near Catherine Bridge is warning other women to be wary after a man walking in the area Saturday exposed himself to her.
The victim was on a dirt path on the north side of the Roaring Fork River when she came up on a man walking on the trail, she told The Aspen Times on Tuesday. She announced her presence and continued to run by him. He said something like, “Oh, sorry,” then a second later asked her for assistance. When the woman stopped and turned around the man was exposing himself, she said.
She initially took off running but got angry about the incident and reversed direction. She ended up chasing him but didn’t catch him.
“After I chased him and yelled at him and threatened him, he looked at me” with a puzzled expression, she said. By that time she had given up the chase and they were a wide distance apart, she said.
In retrospect, the woman said, she probably shouldn’t have chased him. The incident was rife enough with potential danger. “It could have gone sideways extremely fast,” she said.
The Aspen Times does not name victims of crimes and the woman asked that her name not be disclosed. The incident occurred at about 10 a.m. Saturday.
The woman said she had her cell phone with her, so she regretted not having the presence of mind at the time to get the man’s photo.
She reported the incident to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and to her homeowners association at Blue Creek Ranch. The homeowners’ association sent out an email to its members Tuesday warning about the incident.
“The police stated the area down there is known for a lot of problems like exposure, etc., so please keep this in mind when traveling alone along the river trail,” said a sentence in the email from the victim’s husband.
The woman said she was thankful she didn’t have her children with her. She spoke up because she wants other women to be aware of the issue.
“I put myself in that situation,” she said, “and I wasn’t even aware of it.”
She said the flasher was a Hispanic male between 25 and 35 years of age. He wore a gray hoodie with a Star Wars logo, light blue jeans and white tennis shoes.
Similar incidents have occurred in that area in the past. A female jogger reported to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in May 2009 that a man was exposing and fondling himself on a trail near Catherine Bridge, but the description of the suspect didn’t match the man in the latest incident.
In 2009, the female jogger was also on the north side of the river, opposite from the Rio Grande Trail, at about 10 a.m. on a Saturday. She came across the man, who started yelling at her. The yelling intensified as she ran away, according to her report to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. She fled without further issues.
The sheriff’s office reported at the time that it was the second incident with a man exposing himself in that vicinity. The suspect in that case was described as a male with blond, sandy hair, about 6 feet tall and 185 pounds with an average build. He was believed to be in his mid-30s. The 2009 suspect was seen leaving the area in a white SUV.
The victim in Saturday’s incident said there wasn’t any vehicle parked in a small lot north of the river that provides access for anglers. She was unsure where the man came from or where he was headed.
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. In the meantime, Saturday’s victim advised other users of the trail to be alert, not be hiking alone and be prepared to alert the sheriff’s office if they see or experience anything unusual.