Runner fights off attacker near Green Lake as neighbors rush to help

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    SEATTLE -- Police are looking for a man who attacked a woman while she was running near Green Lake Friday morning.

    Erika Herod and Emma Sailer run around Green Lake several days a week. They're stunned to learn what happened nearby.

    “It's quite terrifying quite honestly,” Herod said.

    The attack happened at 6:30 a.m. Friday -- over by Northeast 62nd Street between Green Lake and Ravenna Park.

    “I am someone who runs," Sailer said. "I used to run in that area."

    Survivor Maria Ball says a hooded man came up from behind and grabbed her.

    “It was just so violent and aggressive that I didn't know what was going to happen next and so I fought back the best that I could,” Ball said.

    “Our neighbor next door-- he was already (outside) watering his lawn," said Anne Emanuels and Phoebe Greenwald. "He was up and heard the scream and took after where she thought the attacker ran. We were with her and calling police, trying to support her in the best way we could."

    Emanuels and Greenwald love to run and that's one reason why they moved to the Ravenna neighborhood. They say what happened to Maria Ball is a wake up call.

    “It's easy to think this sort of thing won't happen to you, but it happens to a lot of people and it happens to a lot of women,” Greenwald said. “This is a populated spot at 6:30 (a.m.). There are cars all around. That's why it's so stunning to me.”

    Neighbors say the woman attacked was an experienced runner who took her safety seriously.

    “She was wearing a reflective vest, she wasn't wearing headphones,” Emanuels said.

    Ball says what happened to her should be a lesson for other runners out there.

    “I follow all of the safety precautions and unfortunately, I was a victim,” Ball said.

    Seattle police are investigating the attack. They do not have a clear description of the attacker.

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