UPDATE: Suspect in custody in connection with North Shore jogger rape

UPDATE:  Chattanooga police have arrested a suspect in connection with North Shore jogger rape.

The suspect, a juvenile, is 17 years old and matched the attacker's description. WRCB does not identify juvenile suspects unless they are charged as an adult.  

He will be charged with aggravated rape, according to a news release from the Chattanooga Police Department..

PREVIOUS STORY: Police are still looking for the suspect accused of sexually assaulting a runner early Monday morning.

"We are confirming today it was a sexual assault," said Chattanooga Police Asst. Chief Dave Roddy.

A 69-year old man told police he was raped while out on his morning run, that's according to multiple sources who spoke with Channel 3.

They are looking for a black male, about 5-8 or 5-9 with a short black afro, around 180 - 200 lbs.

Police responded to West Mississippi Ave around 7:30 Monday morning. A more accurate location of the incident will not be released.

"This happened in our city, this happened in our community to one of our citizens," Asst. Chief Roddy said, "We want all community members to raise their awareness, adhere to some of the safety protocols we've asked them to adhere to."

Runners getting their workout in Tuesday afternoon were shocked to hear the sexual assault happened just down the street.

"I have a lot of friends who run in the early morning hours when it's dark outside," said Jennifer Hampton of Chattanooga, "And i'll be more concerned for their safety after this."

"As long as I'm on the river front I've never had any fear," said Scott Fisher of Rock Springs, "Hearing about what you told me, I can't believe it hardly."

Chattanooga Police emailed a news release calling the attack an assault and giving people safety tips to use while running.

Some of the tips from police say people should never run alone, do not use headphones and run with a cell phone at all times.

Runners we spoke with admit they rarely ever carry items with them during a run, and will run alone if they have to.

One runner said knowing it was a sexual assault rather than the vague term "assault" gives her more reason to follow the safety tips provided.

"Yes, absolutely, I might consider having something on me to protect myself," Hampton said, "Assault is more general and you're not sure, how severe was the assault, you're not really sure of the details but rape definitely is severe."

Police said there have been no other rapes or assaults in the area of West Mississippi Ave and they believe this was an isolated incident.


Police would not say if the suspect was armed at the time of the attack.

Chattanooga Police said more information should be released as the investigation continues.

Stay with channel 3 for all of the updates on this story.

Original Story: Chattanooga police are urging runners to use extra caution as officers search for the person who raped a 69-year-old man during his run in north Chattanooga.

Police were notified about the attack on West Mississippi Avenue around 7:30 a.m. Monday. 

Police tell Channel 3 the suspect is a black man who is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. The suspect has a short afro-style haircut and was last seen wearing white or khaki shorts and a dark button up shirt.

After Channel 3 pushed Chattanooga police for answers about a news tip on Monday evening, the department sent out a news release to all local media labeling the attack as an assault. The release did not specify if the suspect was armed. Multiple sources confirm the assault was a rape. 

Officers will be patrolling the area.

Police ask that anyone who notices suspicious behavior or sees a possible suspect to call 911. 

Safety precautions to take for running early mornings and late nights:

  1. Run with a partner or a dog in well-lit areas.
  2. Avoid isolated areas.
  3. Trust your intuition about a person or an area. 
  4. Change your running route pattern.
  5. If you do use headphones, run with the volume low and just one earbud in.
  6. Keep a cell phone with you at all times.

Source: Chattanooga Police Department