by: Kevin McCarty Updated:
CASTLE ROCK, Wash. - A woman attacked as she walked along a riverside trail in Castle Rock didn't have to wait long for help. Her two dogs quickly attacked her would-be assailant, chasing him away.
Kelsey Short, 22, of Longview, was on the Cowlitz River trail on Thursday with her dogs Zug and Holly around 7:50 p.m. when a man leaped from the bushes and grabbed her phone.
"The dog jumped on to him and grabbed his arm then chased him," said Short. "It was scary, but I'm glad the dog was there to protect me."
Short said Zug and Holly are both rescue animals she adopted. Zug responded quickly, according to Short, while Holly darted after the man who ran off into the bushes.
Short described him as white, with shaggy blond hair and scruffy facial hair, no shirt or shoes, wearing khaki shorts and a brown, braided belt. Police believe he may be a transient living in a nearby campsite, but so far no arrest has been made.
The river trail between Castle Rock and Longview is paved and popular with locals who run, walk and bike along Cowlitz River.
Vince Leonard of Castle Rock said he was not surprised to hear about the assault.
"I see a lot of people hanging around on these trails and sometimes it just makes you a little suspect," said Leonard.
Castle Rock police are asking anyone with information about possible suspects to contact them.