Bend police said late Thursday they had investigated social media reports of an alleged sexual assault of a runner early Sunday on the Deschutes River Trail and had confirmed that no such attack took place.
Since Monday, a second-hand report warning early-morning female runners and walkers had spread virally on Facebook. The poster indicated a man had tried to sexually assault her female friend early Sunday on the walking path in front of Riverbend Park.
“He wasn’t trying to get money from her – he was trying to sexually assault her,” the post said, adding that someone taking their dog to the dog park “heard her screaming and chased the guy off.” The post said the woman was “very bruised and emotionally upset,” and was taken to St. Charles Bend and also had talked to police about the incident.
NewsChannel 21 immediately contacted Bend police Monday when the reports first arose, but officers were not able at the time to corroborate the contact or incident. KTVZ did not disseminate the information publicly, awaiting police confirmation or the results of their investigation.
Capt. Paul Kansky noted Thursday that the social media reports had “continued to spread and cause some concern for safety on the Deschutes River Trail and in general.”
“The Bend Police Department has confirmed at this time that a sexual assault did not occur on the Deschutes River Trail,” Kansky said. “There is no cause for concern of a present danger to joggers or recreational users on the Deschutes River Trail as related to the described social media reports.”