Police still searching for man suspected of sexually assaulting teen on Coal Creek Trail

Posted at 11:52 AM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-02 21:18:43-04

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Police have released additional information about a man wanted for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl on the Coal Creek Trail Friday night.

Police said the attack happened on the Coal Creek Trail near Highway 287.

Sgt. John Sellers of the Lafayette Police Department said the girl was walking home alone between 8 and 9 p.m. when the attack happened.

The girl told police she was attacked and assaulted by a white male, possibly in his 20’s with “reddish” hair, measuring about 6-foot-tall with a stocky or heavy build. In a Monday update, Sgt. Sellers said the man was wearing a black suit jacket, blue shirt, possibly blue jeans, and shiny black shoes.

A worker with Lafayette Parks, Recreation and Open Space said the city has a vast system of trails and none have lights. While there are no rangers patrolling the trails, the city employee explained the police department is often asked to monitor the trails in the case of an incident.

"We'd love to see more lighting out there," Lafayette PD Administrative Sergeant John Sellers told Denver7 Monday. "Unfortunately, that's a city department that has to handle that.."

Coal Creek Trail is nearly 10 miles long, but 3 miles are owned, maintained and patrolled by the city.

"We've been asking for more lighting in those areas for quite some time and it's a slow process," Sgt. Sellers continued. He said the conversation about lighting along trails has only been mentioned in casual conversation as a suggestion by the police department. Though he said Friday's attack spells out the need.

Regarding officers patrolling the trails, Sgt. Sellers said, "All the trails in Lafayette allow us access either by bicycle or by vehicle. So, we are on those trails every day, as often as we can be."

It's where and when officers can't be around that Sellers said lighting would be helpful.

Off-camera, Lafayette City Administrator, Gary Klaphake said while he understands lighting tends to be a crime deterrent, not everything needs to be lit -- especially open spaces which usually tend to be natural and undisturbed.

"A lot of those areas are pretty rural and it's difficult to run the power is my understanding, to get the lights," Sellers said. "But we're working on it. And after this weekend's incident, I think that we'll try to make a little progress in that area."

Authorities ask that if you saw any suspicious activity and/or person in that area Friday evening, that you contact them at (303) 441-4444.