Deputies: Woman attacked at Julington Creek park

Attacker hit woman over head as she was leaving bathroom, deputies say

JULINGTON CREEK, Fla. – St. Johns County deputies are looking for a teen who attacked a woman Tuesday night at a Julington Creek park.

According to the Sheriff's Office report, the 39-year-old woman was hit on the head by someone or something as she was leaving the bathroom at Julington Creek Plantation Park, just off Race Track Road.

She fell to the ground and an attacker hit her several more times until she called for help, deputies said.

A witness walking her dog said she saw the attacker hitting the woman while she was on the ground, and yelled out. The attacker stopped and ran off, deputies said.

The woman suffered a cut to the right side of her head and was treated at Baptist South Hospital.

Deputies used a K-9 officer to try to track the woman's attacker, described as a high-school-aged white male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, but had no luck.

Another witness told deputies that she was on the phone with the woman and heard her telling someone to “get off her.” She said when she arrived five minutes later, she found the woman covered in blood.

Deputies said several sporting events with hundreds of people in attendance were happening in the surrounding fields, but no one at those events saw the attack. 

While the ball fields are lit up at night, witnesses expressed concerns about the restrooms not being well-lit. That's why News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith recommended always using the buddy system. 

"Take someone with you when you're going to the restroom, or someplace where other people are not going to be. That way you have some type of protection or someone aware of anything that could happen," Smith said. "You need to be very careful."

Investigators were back at the park Wednesday, taking a closer look for possible evidence. Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said there was neither a robbery or sexual assault, which causes detectives to wonder about the attacker's motive. 

"Is this some version of the knockout game that many of us heard about some time ago? Or is it someone in her life, or some individual, (who) has a grudge against her and chose this particular location?" Mulligan said. 

A surveillance camera at an adjacent school did not pick up anything useful, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office asked that anyone at the park between 8-9 p.m. Tuesday and shot video or took photos, take a look back at the footage and see if there is anything suspicious in the background. If so, please call the Sheriff's Office at 904-824-8304.