Woman attacked on greenway smears dog feces on attacker’s face to escape

Knoxville Police Department officers have arrested a man suspected of assaulting a woman at Forks of the River industrial park on Sunday.
Greenway assault suspect in custody
Greenway assault suspect in custody(Knoxville PD)
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 4:00 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Officers with the Knoxville Police Department responded to the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, at 3140 McClure Lane, in response to a call that a man had assaulted a woman while she was walking her dog on the trail.

The 30-year-old woman told police that she was approached by a man, later identified to be Michael James Ward, and that he grabbed her, tried to drag her into the woods, and punched her multiple times on Sunday afternoon.

According to the incident report, Ward also pulled out a small knife and threatened the victim with it.

The woman started to fight back by smearing a plastic bag of dog feces that she was carrying in the suspect’s face in an effort to escape.

Ward later ran into the woods after two people came to help her, according to officials. During the attack, Ward took off with the woman’s phone, police said.

The KPD Major Crimes Unit and crime lab personnel responded to the scene as well as a K-9 officer to track Ward, but lost his scent near the river.

Ward is being charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping.

Officials with the Knoxville Police Department reported on Monday morning that officers had taken Ward into custody.

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