Two incidents on the local bike path along the Olentangy River this week have prompted Delaware police to add extra patrols there.
A 17-year-old girl from Prospect, Ohio, said she was assaulted by a stranger on the bike path — near where the path crosses U.S. 23 and River Street on the east side of the Olentangy — about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, police said. The girl told police a man ripped her clothes and touched her inappropriately.
Tuesday evening, an 18-year-old Delaware resident was severely injured in a fight on the bike path between East Winter and East William streets, police said.
Josef Andrew Hutchinson was assaulted by a 16-year-old boy he knows and was transported and admitted to OSU Wexner Medical Center. Hutchinson was released from Wexner Wednesday night, hospital staff said.
Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski said the incidents are not related and called them “distinctly different incidents.”
“That being said, we have added an extra patrol to the area,” Pijanowski said. “We do not believe that there is additional cause for concern, but encourage everyone to be aware of their surroundings and keep their safety in mind, no matter where they are.”
Police have developed a sketch of the man who they believe is responsible for the assault Sunday night. The victim described the attacker as a white male, about 5-foot-8 with a medium build, brown hair with some stubble on his face, and tattoos on both arms. He was wearing a T-shirt and jeans.
Police are urging anyone with information regarding the incident to call 740-203-1111.
Police say that both investigations are continuing and no charges have been filed in either case.
Police were not releasing the name of the 16-year-old boy involved in the Tuesday fight because he has not been charged.