PROVO — A woman hiking late at night in Provo was sexually assaulted by an unknown man, but she managed to escape before being physically harmed by secretly using her cellphone, police say.
The incident happened late Monday and early Tuesday after the woman went hiking with a group of friends at Rock Canyon Park.
After the group started up the mountain, the woman had to use the bathroom and went back to a restroom at the bottom of the trailhead, said Provo Police Lt. Brian Taylor. When she went into the women's room, an unknown man followed her inside.
The man brandished a large curved knife with about a 10-inch blade. The man also had a knife sheath around his leg, Taylor said. He ordered the woman to undress.
As the woman was removing her clothes, however, she was able to dial a man from her hiking group on her cellphone.
"She dialed and left the line open so her friend could hear this assault unfolding on the phone," Taylor said.
The friend ran back down the trailhead and confronted the man while he was still in the restroom, the lieutenant said, prompting the man to run off.Comment on this story
Police are asking for the public's help to find the man. He is described as being in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 185 pounds, and had a lot of acne scars. Witnesses said the man also had very distinctive upper teeth. Taylor said they were flat, "like they had been filed."
Investigators do not believe the attacker is the same man who sexually assaulted a woman in Alpine in a church parking lot early Sunday. The descriptions of the men in the cases are different, Taylor said.
Anyone with information on the Provo assault is asked to call police at 801-852-6342.