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An online story of a female jogger that was supposedly assaulted on the path by the river is untrue. Bismarck Police have talked to the woman who admits that what she actually reported to police has somehow been blown way out of proportion.
This story first surfaced briefly last week on a Bismarck runner’s blog before being removed. A similar story was posted yesterday on a different website. According to the article, “a woman was running on the path down by the river recently and was captured by two men, one grabbing her by her legs and the other grabbing her upper body. They carried her towards a white van with two other men in it and the door open. This woman screamed and kicked and luckily got the attention of two bystanders (a man and woman) who came to her rescue. The man (good guy) had to fight the two men to free the woman and eventually she escaped.”
Here’s what actually happened. On April 13, at about 8:05 pm, a Bismarck woman was running in the area of Pioneer Park. She saw a white van several times with four occupants. At one point the van had parked with the doors open. The occupants never approached the woman but made her feel uneasy. There was an older couple in the area that the woman talked to for a while. There were also several other people on the path. The van drove away. She did not get a license number and did not see where the van went. When the caller returned home about half hour later she called police to report this.
The woman did the right thing by going toward other people when she felt uneasy and reporting the incident to police.
Police ask that people verify these types of stories before posting to social media and hope that everyone who has reposted links to the original wrong article will just as quickly post this accurate information.
The Crime Prevention Section of the Bismarck Police Department offers free personal protection presentations, including one specifically for women, by calling 223-1212. More crime prevention information is available at www.bismarcknd.gov/crimeprevention and www.facebook.com/bismarckpolice.