A woman was attacked while walking along the American River bike trail near Sacramento State early Thursday afternoon and police are still looking for the suspect.

Campus police notified students via email about the attack that happened at 11:45 a.m., just west of the Howe Avenue overpass. Police said a man riding a bicycle passed the female student on the bike trail, then stopped and walked back to her.

The suspect told the student to come to him. He grabbed her when she refused, hit her on the head and tried dragging her into nearby bushes.

Police said the woman was able to break free and run away. She was treated at a nearby hospital for injuries and later released.

Police describe the suspect as a black man in his mid 40s, standing 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 and with a muscular build, short black hair, with no facial hair or other distinguishable markings.

Anyone with information regarding this or any similar incident is encouraged to call the Sacramento State Police Department at (916) 278-6000 or the Sacramento City Police Department (916) 264-5471, which is the agency of jurisdiction for this case.

Sacramento State tips for staying safe around campus:

  • Walk in groups or pairs when you are out at night. Consider carrying a flashlight, whistle, pepper spray, and/or cell phone when you go out.
  • Program the Sacramento State Police Department’s dispatch number, (916) 278-6000, into your phone.
  • Learn the location of the nearest emergency “blue” phones on your walking routes.
  • Utilize the Hornet Night Shuttle, (916) 278-7260, or contact the Sacramento State Police Department for an escort when on campus at night.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and always know where you are.
  • Watch for suspicious people or vehicles, and go to a place of safety if approached by a suspicious person or vehicle.
  • Never be afraid to make noise if you are attacked; yell, scream, and try to attract attention. The last thing an attacker wants is to have someone take notice.