Woman hits attacker with dog waste to escape kidnapping at Knoxville park

Regional

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Police say a man performed a citizen’s arrest after recognizing a suspect wanted for the assault and attempted kidnapping of a woman at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.

The Knoxville Police Department has released the incident report from the attack that occurred on Aug. 22.

Michael James Ward, 47, was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping on August 24 after a man noticed Ward in a convenience store and recognized him from social media bulletins seeking the suspect in the attack, police said.

Records show the man asked the suspect his name and when told, detained Ward until law enforcement could arrive to the 2800 block of John Sevier Highway.

The victim was walking her dog on the trails around 1:30 p.m. on August 22 when a man approached her asking for some water. Police say he grabbed the victim by the arm and attempted to drag her into the woods.

After being punched by the suspect several times, the victim smeared a bag of dog feces in his face to get him to release her.

After approaching the victim with a knife, the incident report states the suspect stole her cell phone and fled into the woods when she attempted to call 911. The victim then fled the scene and used a nearby walker’s phone to contact police.

A police K-9 tracked the suspect to the river where the scent was lost and the suspect apparently escaped by boat. The suspect’s shoes and towel were recovered from a nearby clearing. Court records show the suspect is considered homeless.

The victim suffered injuries to her head and face during the assault. An ambulance was called to the scene but she elected to drive herself for medical care due to the long response time.

Ward was arraigned on August 25. A bond hearing has been set for Friday, August 27 at 9 a.m.

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