The traumatised woman, who chose not to be named, said she was always ‘hyper-vigilant’ about checking her surroundings while running and identified the man as a threat as soon as she saw him near the CY O’Connor Beach carpark.
‘It was a warm day and he was wearing long black tracksuit pants and a navy hooded sweatshirt, but I could see the back of his neck was dripping with sweat,’ she said.
‘There wasn’t anyone else around and after I passed the man he went behind the bushes and hid, waiting for me to have to run past him on my return.
‘After waiting for him to leave, which he didn’t, I had no choice but to go past him, at which time he came out exposing himself.
‘I was absolutely terrified as he was very tall and I knew I would not be able to defend myself.’
The victim immediately rang 000 and ran to Cockburn Road to seek the safety of a busy area.
‘I would absolutely urge female runners or walkers to avoid this area when on their own, especially during winter while it is quiet,’ she said.
She described the man as tall with short, dark hair.
South Metropolitan District acting crime prevention officer Amanda Krarup said there were several things people could do to avoid similar situations.
‘Walk in well-lit and busy areas, avoid walking close to overgrown bushes or trees where a potential offender could hide and walk with a friend or group where possible,’ she said.
‘If you walk regularly by yourself, consider varying your route so your routine is not easily identified and remain alert and aware of your surroundings.
‘If you are listening to your iPod or mp3 player, keep the volume low so you can hear what is happening to you.
‘And if you are confronted, try to remain calm, gather as much information about the offender as possible, like what they are wearing, what they say or identifying features, and always take your mobile phone with you in case you need to call someone.’