2 joggers chase, hold assault suspect for police on Cape Girardeau trail

2 joggers chase, hold assault suspect for police on Cape Girardeau trail

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Screams for help from a female jogger on the Cape LaCroix Recreation Trail were answered by two joggers on Friday afternoon, March 26.

According to Cape Girardeau police, a female was jogging on the trail, near the 1300 block of North Mount Auburn, when a man ran onto the trail and shoved an unknown substance in her face.

The victim screamed for help and the suspect ran away.

According to Sgt. Joey Hann, a man jogging on the trail heard the screams for help and ran after the suspect.

A second man jogging on the trail joined the other jogger in the chase.

Both men were able to catch up with the suspect when he crossed the LaCroix Creek and ran into a yard on the 700 block of Woodbine Street.

The two joggers were able to hold the suspect on the ground until officers arrived two minutes later.

“The fact that they located and detained that suspect immediately helped us to get him out of the community and protect other citizens from being assaulted this way,” said Sgt. Hann.

The suspect was arrested and identified by police as James C. Griswell, 26, of Oran.

Griswell was booked into the Cape Girardeau County Jail on a third-degree assault charge.

He is being held on a $50,000 cash only bond.

Griswell is on the Missouri sex offender registry.

He was arrested and charged in 2013 following a report of a man touching and grabbing women from behind on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.

This is the second attack reported this year on the Cape LaCroix Recreation Trail.

In January, a woman walking on the trail was stabbed in the back with a sharp object, and a suspect was arrested shortly after police arrived.

According to Sgt. Hann, these incidents are rare.

“We have a large number of people that use this [trail] on a regular basis, and our instances of crime are actually extremely low, considering the number of people that use this on a daily basis,” he said.

If you visit a trail, Sgt. Hann suggested being aware of your surroundings, wearing headphones that do not block out ambient sound and telling someone your route and when you expect to be home so they can check on you.

“Anytime that you’re approached by someone or anytime that someone is too close to you personally, create that distance as soon as possible. Trust your senses. If you feel like there’s a chance of an attack or an assault, call out for someone else. Call out so that you have a witness or somebody that can intervene,” he said.

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.