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By CARL SMITH
Local law enforcement agencies are investigating an attack and attempted sexual assault of a female jogger which occurred early Monday in the Cotton District.
According to a Starkville Police Department release, the attack occurred at approximately 5:15 a.m. while the victim jogged on University Drive.
The victim reported she was jogging in the vicinity of Jarnigan Street when she observed a black male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt walking on the road. The individual followed the victim down University Drive, attacked her at the bridge near Fire Station No. 1, SPD Chief David Lindley said, and forced her under the bridge where he attempted to sexually assault her.
The victim fought off her attacker, escaped without serious injuries and flagged down a motorist who drove her to the police department.
Starkville police officers are looking for a medium-build, college-age black male with a mustache and medium-length black hair. At the time of the attack, he was wearing a gray, hooded sweat shirt and dark jeans. The suspect was last seen running east on University Drive in the direction of Mississippi State University.
Although the female is not a MSU student, MSU Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois said students should â€śtake every precaution for their personal safety and be alert to their surroundings at all timesâ€ť in a release.
Lindley said he encourages the community not to jog in the early-morning or late-night hours when it is dark. Joggers should also run in pairs, use extreme caution and report any suspicious activities immediately.
SPD and the MSU Police Department are seeking information from the public. Anyone with information about the suspect involved in the attack is encouraged to call the SPD at (662) 323-4131, the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at (800) 530-7151 or the MSUPD at (662) 325-2121.