Assault victim still seeking her attacker
BASALT She’s lost the peripheral vision in her left eye, and her short-term memory is sometimes fuzzy. She calls those her daily reminders of a brutal attack in Basalt early one Saturday morning in August.But the effect that stings the most is tougher to define. The woman is frustrated and a bit disturbed that no one has emerged with useful information.A $1,000 reward remains available for anyone who supplies information that leads to a conviction. The victim, a native of Aspen, remains hopeful even after nine months that someone will help.”I’m not giving up,” she said. “I’m looking to my community.”She doesn’t want to be identified, just in case her attacker is still around town. She thinks that possibility is high. Even if he fled when police investigated, she figures employment opportunities and family might have lured him back to the valley after a time.She remains hopeful that friends who know what he did will eventually give in to their conscience and stop protecting “this evil person.”The woman was attacked after exiting a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus at the Diamond Shamrock in Basalt around 3 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. She said she was nervous about the behavior of at least one of four Latino men who also got off the bus. The woman, 24 at the time, let them pass her as she made her way to the convenience store. The store was closed, so she decided to call her boyfriend for a ride.While she was trying to get to a malfunctioning pay phone to work, one of the men approached her. He asked if she was all right, but she doubted he was concerned about her welfare. She told him to get away and dialed 911.The woman was struggling to provide a location to the emergency dispatcher because the connection was poor.The man disappeared but popped up again from a different direction. He struck her with two closed fists. She feared the possibility of sexual assault, so she put up a vicious defense.The scuffle was over fast. She vaguely recalls using the telephone receiver as a weapon, and she bit the man’s finger. She was struck numerous times and was knocked to the ground.The attacker fled when the victim’s boyfriend arrived. Police arrived a short time later and searched the area without luck. Police suspect the man might have assaulted another woman near Rubey Park, the Aspen bus station, that same night.Basalt police kept working leads. Six months after the attack, they had the victim come in and look at a photo lineup. She didn’t think any of the men were the attacker.She remains hopeful for a tip. And she remains determined to build awareness. She wants other women to be aware of her story and of the possibility of attack in what seems to be a safe valley.”I understand the reality that we’re probably not going to find this guy,” the woman said. Helping other women avoid the same fate is motivation that matches vengeance.Scott Condon’s e-mail address email@example.com.
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