FORT WORTH, Texas -- Police have made an arrest in a bizarre 2017 attack along a popular trail in Fort Worth.
Police say back in September, a woman was jogging in broad daylight on Trinity Trails when she was attacked by a naked man riding a bike. He chased her and threw her phone into the Trinity River, police said. “We took this case very seriously. It was a very dangerous situation,” said FWPD Sgt. Chris Britt.
After a thorough investigation, police found the suspect, Justin Lacey Ray, in Georgia, where he had been arrested on a theft charge. Police say an anonymous tipster saw the suspect sketch and led them to Ray, a Fort Worth homeless man who was already in custody on a theft charge in Georgia.
Ray, 21, had ties to the TCU area and was homeless when the 2017 attack occurred, police said. He gave police official information that connected him to the incident.
Police say he confessed to the crime. He's currently being extradited back to Texas, where he will be officially charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated assault.
“It was big enough a priority that we put basically the entire sexual assault unit on it,” said Cpt. Deven Pitt.
The arrest warrant affidavit stated Ray said he was mad that day and his intent was to kill the victim. He described beating and strangling her, but fled after deciding not to kill her. “It was concerning we had a man running around the Trinity Trails naked that showed a propensity to be extremely violent,” Cpt. Pitt said.
And Wednesday, police revealed Ray is also a suspect in another sexual assault case. Police said that assault happened at Z Bonz Dog Park in west Fort Worth less than one month before the Trinity Trails assault. Cpt. Pitt said the woman in the August 2017 case identified a photo of Ray, but they haven’t charged him yet.
It might’ve been the heat that kept some people off the Trinity Trails Wednesday. But for the past 10 months, it was fear that kept them at bay. “I carry pepper spray with me now every time I run or bike,” said cyclist Stacy Musunuru.
As for people who enjoy using the Trinity Trails, they’ve kept the assault in the back of their minds. “It was scary,” Musunuru said, adding that she changed her behavior on the trails after the attack.
“Just knowing that he’s been found and it can put everyone at ease, but you still can’t put your guard down,” she said.