Police: Woman was attacked, dragged into woods at Belmont Lake State Park
State police say a woman who was jogging at Belmont Lake State Park was attacked by a man and dragged into a wooded area before she was able to break free.
The alleged assault happened around 9 p.m. Friday. Police say the woman was jogging on a trail when she was grabbed by the suspect and dragged to a wooded area, where the man allegedly placed his hands over her mouth so she couldn't scream for help.
Investigators say the woman was able to break free and ran to a group of people who were in the park.
Officials say there were no regular state park police assigned to the 463-acre park at the time, so Suffolk County police who were on patrol at Robert Moses responded to the scene.
They searched the park with K-9 and aviation units, but the man was not found.
Anyone with information is urged to call park police at 631-669-2500.
The PBA organization for state police says the attack shines a light on the need for more patrols in New York's state parks.
"The PBA of NYS has called on the state for several years to increase park police staffing, but we see violence and crimes of opportunity take place at an alarming rate. An increased police presence would no doubt address this," Manny Vilar, vice president of the PBA of NYS and park police sergeants director, said in a statement.
The statement continued, "The victim was fortunate to have the strength to fight off her attacker. Once again, we implore state officials to address the ongoing problem of inadequate park police staffing."
News 12 reached out to state park police headquarters about the alleged lack of officers, but has not yet heard back.