Southtown Runner Shares Groping Incident & Warning to Fellow Trail-Users

Southtown Woman Warns Fellow Runners of Groping Incident Along River

San Antonio – In a recent incident that sent shock waves through the running community, a Southtown woman, Sara Briseño Gerrish, has issued a strong warning to fellow runners and walkers in the area to be cautious and vigilant against potential acts of groping. Gerrish, a victim herself, reported being violated during her early Saturday morning nine-mile run along the river.

The unfortunate incident unfolded near Blue Star as Gerrish was wrapping up her challenging run. Recounting the unsettling experience, she said, “It just happened very quickly.” Gerrish was taken aback when a bicyclist suddenly targeted her, entering her personal space without consent. In a brave response, she attempted to physically remove the perpetrator from his bike, showing resilience amid the shocking encounter. Reflecting on her actions, she shared, “I don’t know what I was thinking. ‘What is going to happen?’ I just figured there’d be somebody around to actually help me.”

Realizing the urgency of the situation, Gerrish raised her voice, urgently pleading for assistance, and implored passersby to alert the police. Responding to her cries for help, a concerned couple in the vicinity witnessed the assailant fleeing the scene and quickly dialed the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD). Expressing her gratitude, Gerrish said, “I was so sweaty. I couldn’t call myself even if I wanted to, but they were very helpful and did check to see if I was OK.”

Following the distressing incident, Gerrish took to a Southtown Facebook group to share her harrowing experience and caution her fellow residents about the potential dangers lurking in the area. She shared insights into her personal safety practices: “When I do run, I don’t run with AirPods. That way I can hear somebody coming up behind me. I don’t run at night anymore, just out of safety.” By sharing her story, Gerrish aims to create awareness among others who frequent the region about the importance of staying alert and taking precautions to prevent such incidents.

While Gerrish hopes this ordeal was an isolated incident, she acknowledges concerns regarding the safety of runners and walkers along the river. Emphasizing her sincerity, she stated, “I just wanted other people who are in the area, if they’re by themselves, that they are just aware of these kinds of things.”

In light of this unfortunate event, the Road Runners Club of America has offered some essential safety tips for runners and walkers to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is advisable to plan routes with safety as the top priority. Considering running or walking with a group can also provide an added layer of security. Additionally, acquiring self-defense training and promptly alerting the authorities in the event of any untoward incidents are strongly recommended precautionary measures.

As the community rallies around Gerrish and other potential victims, it is crucial for residents to come together in order to create a safer environment for all, and ensure that everyone can enjoy their outdoor activities without fear of harassment.

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