STEPHENS CITY — A woman who works as a park ranger at Sherando Park in Frederick County reported being assaulted by a man shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Warren Gosnell.

The ranger told deputies, who were called to the park for a report of an assault with a knife, that she pulled up to the bathroom building by the gazebo at the lake to lock up for the night. She parked her truck at the rear of the building, and, as she exited the truck, she observed someone approaching her from behind, Gosnell stated in an email. She had not seen anyone in the parking lot as she drove to the bathrooms.

The suspect, described as a “shorter, skinny” white man in his 40s with a bald head, deep voice, and dressed in dark clothing with a facial covering and carrying a backpack, asked the ranger for money, Gosnell indicated. When the ranger told him no, he grabbed her by her shirt and pushed her against a tree next to the truck.

“A struggle ensued between the ranger and the suspect, with punches and kicks exchanged before the ranger was cut with what is believed to be a bladed weapon or object,” Gosnell stated. “The ranger suffered cuts to her upper body and left arm while fighting and defending herself during the attack. Eventually the ranger punched the suspect in the groin, causing him to back up and then turn and run towards the lake and gazebo area.”

After contacting another ranger and 911 being called, deputies set up a perimeter and had a Winchester Police Department K9 attempt to track the suspect, but he could not be located.

Anyone with possible suspect information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

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