WARNING IMAGES BELOW MAY BE DISTRESSING TO SOME READERS
One Colorado woman is not staying silent after she was brutally attacked while walking her dog on Wednesday morning.
Vanessa Kinsey went public with her story in a Facebook post she shared on Thursday, one day after she said the attack took place on the Platte River Trail in Denver, Colorado.
Kinsey wrote she was taking her dog, Berreta, on a walk along the trail at about 7:15 a.m. when she allegedly recognized a man — later identified by police as Johnny Dewayne Harris Jr. — walking along the trail that she had seen the day before.
“He didn’t make eye contact with me and I got a very strange vibe,” Kinsey claims. “Somehow he made it on the other side of the [trail] loop, meaning he must’ve cut through the woods somewhere knowing where I was headed.”
Just as Kinsey, 29, and Berreta passed by him on the trail, she wrote she “noticed him very close behind me.”
“I saw he had a rope in his hands and at that point, he was too close to try and put any distance between us,” Kinsey explained.
She claimed the man dragged her into the woods a few feet from the trail where she alleged: “He removed almost all of my clothes.”
“He continued to choke me using his hands, the rope, and with a bandana of some sort,” she wrote. “I fought like hell and screamed my brains out, even my sweet dog tried to fight him and bite him as much as she could.”
Kinsey alleged the man threatened to kill her, although she said that did not stop her from screaming.
“I thought that this could be the end but I was not about to give up fighting for my life,” she wrote, alleging the assailant “hog-tied me from my neck to my wrists, then to my ankles and told me he was going to let me go but he needed to find his glasses first.”
Kinsey wrote she was able to free her ankles from the knot the man had allegedly tied and ran toward a bike path “almost completely naked” as she screamed for help.
She claimed a bicyclist went after the perpetrator and was able to restrain him until police officers from the Littleton Police Department arrived.
Commander Trent Cooper of the Littleton Police Department told the Denver Post the people who helped her “did exactly what good Samaritans should do.”
“They got involved, but not so involved that they endangered themselves,” Cooper said. “We’re looking at whether other cases are related to him.”
Police arrested Johnny Dewayne Harris Jr., 48, and charged him with first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault, according to online jail records. His bond has been set to $1 million.
He is due in court on July 31 at Arapahoe County, online jail records show.
Kinsey wrote the attack was “the worst day of my life but I knew I had to fight, it simply wasn’t my time to die.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
She added she went public with her story “to remind each and every one of you, please be aware of your surroundings at all times.”
“I am lucky to be alive, so please have a plan in place to protect yourself from whatever may be out there,” she continued.
Harris is a registered sex offender and was convicted in 1999 for assaulting a 15-year-old girl, online records for the Texas Sex Offender Registry show. His risk level is listed as “low.”
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and released in 2014 — the same year he was registered as a sex offender, according to the registry.
A GoFundMe was created for Kinsey to help her pay her medical bills. Donations have surpassed $22,000 out of a $20,000 goal.
Kinsey told CBS4 she does not see herself as the victim of an attack.
“I’m not a victim, I survived, I kept fighting and I am a survivor,” she said.