WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A 29-year-old woman has shared the terrifying moment when a stranger dragged her into the woods by her neck, stripped her clothes off and tied her up.
Vanessa Kinsey had been walking her dog in broad daylight when the horrific attack occurred and now she wants to share a warning to help others.
“This was the worst day of my life but I knew I had to fight, it simply wasn’t my time to die,” Ms Kinsey, posted on Facebook.
“I am putting this post up to remind each and every one of you, please be aware of your surroundings at all times,” she said.
Ms Kinsey, a Pilates instructor from Denver, Colorado, was walking near her home about 7am on Wednesday morning (local time) when she saw a strange man.
“A man passed by me that I had recognised briefly. He didn’t make eye contact with me and I got a very strange vibe,” she posted on Facebook.
Although it was unknown to her at the time, the man was a registered sex offender with multiple warrants out for his arrest. Later on in her walk, Ms Kinsey passed him again before the unthinkable happened.
“About 30 seconds later I noticed him very close behind me. I saw he had a rope in his hands and at that point he was too close to try and put any distance between us,” she said.
The man grabbed Ms Kinsey by her neck from behind.
“He dragged me into the woods about 15 feet off the trail where he removed almost all of my clothes,” she said.
“He continued to choke me using his hands, the rope, and with a bandana of some sort,” she said.
“He threatened to kill me, I believe to get me to stop screaming. I thought that this could be the end but I was not about to give up fighting for my life,” she said.
Throughout the ordeal, Ms Kinsey and her dog tried to escape.
“I fought like hell and screamed my brains out, even my sweet dog tried to fight him and bite him as much as she could,” she said.
Eventually Ms Kinsey got her chance to escape when her attacker had to stop to find his glasses.
“I somehow managed to sit up and was able to reach the knot around my ankles and free myself,” she said.
After freeing herself, Ms Kinsey ran screaming and almost naked to a nearby bicycle path, where she was able to flag down people to help.
“I’m so thankful there were people around that ultimately were able to protect me,” she said.
A man on a bicycle chased after the offender and was able to restrain him until the police arrived and took him into custody.
“Detectives are very confident [the offender] won’t be seeing light of day for a very very long time, if not ever,” she said.
On Wednesday, the Littleton Police Department said that Ms Kinsey was transported to a local hospital for evaluation following the incident.
The 48-year-old suspect, Johnny Dewayne Harris, was jailed at the Arapahoe County Detention Centre and was charged with sexual assault and kidnapping.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Mr Kinsey’s medical bills and lost income.
The page, which has raised more than $22,000 to date, reads: “Vanessa’s insurance policy is not scheduled to take effect until next month which means that her medical bills may not be covered”.