NORTHFIELD — Police have asked for the public's help in finding a man accused of masturbating while lunging at a jogging woman.

The 28-year-old jogger was in Birch Grove Park about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, when she passed a man who then dropped his pants and grabbed her shirt collar, she told police. The victim says she was able to break free and get away.

The man was described as a white or Hispanic male about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a thin build, round face, dark hair and slight mustache. He was between 25-35 years old and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and gray sweat pants.

Police combed the area but did not find the man.

They have not ruled out a connection to a different attack on a woman at the same park in December 2017. In that case, a man grabbed a woman from behind, but she fought him off by gouging him with her keys.

The man described in both cases had the same build and height, according to police Capt. Steve Steinecke.

Residents were urged by officers to exercise with at least one other person, whenever possible, and to use well-traveled areas.

Anyone with information about the attempted assault was asked to contact Northfield Police at 609-641-2832 ext.153 or dispatch at 609-641-3122.

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