Police warn Southbridge residents after stranger chases woman on trail in broad daylight

STURBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Southbridge police are warning residents in the town to be on alert after they say a stranger chased a woman down a trail in broad daylight on Monday.

Authorities say they received a report around 9:30 a.m. regarding an incident that involved a man chasing after a woman who was walking near the Westville Dam recreation area on the Southbridge-Sturbridge line.

Police say the victim told responding officers that a man in a vehicle pulled up near her in and motioned for her to come over to him. The woman told police she started walking away near the South Street side of the trail when the man suddenly started following her.

The woman says the man started running at her when she pulled out a phone to call for help. She says she fled and that he eventually returned to his vehicle.

Police say the woman was able to safely escape to her vehicle as police arrived on scene.

The suspect is described as a white male, about 50 years old, wearing blue jeans and a dark colored hooded sweatshirt. The man was said to be wearing the hood up and appeared to have salt-and-pepper hair coming from underneath the hood, and was clean shaven.

A thorough search of the area was conducted, but Southbridge and Sturbridge officers were unable to locate the suspect.

Police say they are searching for an older model, dark color sedan similar in style to a Pontiac.

Authorities say all residents should use care when using trails or walkways throughout the area. If possible, police say residents should walk with a friend and avoid using headphones or any form of distraction.

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