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Alameda Park sexual assault victim speaks out

A Santa Barbara woman who wishes to remain anonymous said she was sexually assaulted by a man who looked homeless in Alameda Park before noon Friday. The 28-year-old said she was on her way back to work from lunch when a Caucasian man who smelled like alcohol blocked her path and grabbed her bottom. “He pushed me up against a tree, grabbed my breasts and down lower in my private area and he kept groping me in that way,” she said. She said It happened near the gazebo where she saw homeless people hanging out. She fought him off by elbowing him and kicking him. When she returned to work her coworkers encouraged her to go to the police to file a report. By telling her story she is hoping police will patrol the park during daylight hours and find the thirty-something man with brown hair tied in a bun at the back of his neck. Sgt. Riley Harwood, of the Santa Barbara Police Department, said he didn’t know of similar crimes reported at Alameda Park, but he said, “We take personal crimes very seriously. They are our highest priority.” Harwood said the sooner a crime victim calls 911 the sooner officers will respond. He also wanted victims to know they can get help at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center by calling (805)963-6832 or by visiting

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