Posted: Jul 23, 2012 4:00 PM by Irina Cates - KPAX News
Updated: Jul 24, 2012 9:43 AM
MISSOULA- Investigators say pepper spray made all the difference for a Missoula woman when two men in a pickup followed her as she walked home down Reserve Street early Saturday morning.
"The passenger of that truck was being real creepy, and he said, 'What's a pretty girl like you doing walking around?'" said Jason Johnson, Missoula County Sheriff's Office public information officer. "And she told him, 'Well, I'm going home and I'm almost there and so they left."
But as the 39-year-old woman walked down Spurgin Road, Johnson says she saw the truck again.
"It drove past her, turned around and then stopped," Johnson said. "The passenger got out and ran up to her, threw her to the ground and then proceeded to assault her by putting his hand up her shirt and then tried to get her pants off."
The alleged attempted rape happened near the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks office. Investigators say the woman fought off her attacker, pepper sprayed him and hid in some nearby bushes, but the attacker and his driver didn't stop looking for her.
"The truck, for several hours, kept going around the area looking for her. Each time she saw the truck, she'd have to get into the bushes and hide," Johnson said.
He said the woman lost her cell phone battery that night, but didn't realize it, so she ended up going from house to house looking for help, but no one answered the door.
The victim described the suspect vehicle as a large four-door, Chevy pickup truck, champagne in color. The sheriff's office is currently working on find surveillance video that might show this truck.
She also told investigators the attacker was in his 30s, about 5'8", 250 pounds, and was bald-headed with no facial hair and was very muscular. She said the driver appeared to be younger than 30.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Missoula County Sheriff's Office at (406) 258.4810, or you can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward by calling Crimestoppers at (406) 721.4444.