Teenage girl reports sex assault in Falls park

Posted at 3:19 AM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 18:33:29-05

Niagara Falls police are investigating a sex assault, reported Tuesday night, in Gill Creek Park.

The park is wedged between Niagara Street and Packard Road.

Police say a 16-year-old girl was forcibly touched, just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, as she was trying to get to the fire hall on Hyde Park Boulevard.

Niagara Falls police say the girl was walking home from a friend's home and stopped in the park.

That's when, police say, an unidentified black man approached the girl.  He was making small talk with the girl, according to police.

The girl started walking away, when police say the man chased and jumped on her.  Police say the man forcibly touched the girl on the bridge behind the fire hall.

Police say the man was 'spooked' by something in the park and he took off.  Police say the man took the girl's phone and threw it before running away.

Ann Smith walks through the park during the day to get to and from her job as a home health aid. She tells 7 Eyewitness News, after hearing about the sexual assault incident she will think twice about walking alone.

"I'm going to start getting a ride and not walking this way," Smith tells 7 Eyewitness News.

"I don't want to be a victim."

The man is described as 25 to 35 years old, 5'5" tall with a stocky build, black hair with a bald spot.

Police say the girl is back with her mother and is said to be okay.