Springfield assault prompts discussion on neighborhood lighting issues

Crime

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Police are searching for a suspect they say attacked a woman walking along Pickwick Street in the Rountree Neighborhood in Springfield Monday evening.

The incident occurred shortly after sunset, around 5:30 p.m., at the small intersection of Pickwick and Meadowmere.

Neighbors say it’s a quiet, safe neighborhood. But for the victim, a simple walk turned into a nightmare.

A nearby security video shows a glimpse of two women struggling on the road Monday evening in Rountree.

Neighbors Ken and Connie Hopper say that word of the attack quickly spread on social media.

The victim reports she was going to meet her mother for an evening walk when she noticed a tan SUV lingering in the area.

Hopper explains the security camera footage a few seconds later.

“Which you can’t see anything, but you could hear the girl screaming, and I mean, really screaming. Then saw a neighbor cut across the yard, a silhouette of a neighbor coming across the yard,” said Hopper.

The victim said in a Facebook post that a woman came running up behind her and fought until the woman slammed the victim’s head into the concrete, then tried to pull her back to the vehicle.

The victim says a neighbor ran from this house out to help.

“We’ve lived here for 20-some years, 25 years or so … We don’t have things like that happening around here,” said Hopper.

The victim is now recovering after suffering several gashes to her face.

Connie Hopper says she walks this stretch every day but says the incident will not change her route. However, she says she will start to bring her phone with her, and maybe pepper spray.

Ken says he’s noticed a recent rise in criminal activity in a relatively unlit part of town.

“Our neighborhood has experienced a great many smashes and grab cars. They go up the alleys and look for cars and look for things like that. Yes, better lighting would discourage that aspect as well,” said Ken Hopper.

City Utilities says this neighborhood has about 65 light poles in the area where the incident happened, which is pretty typical for an area of this size.

No arrests have been made yet, but officers say they don’t believe there’s any danger to the public.

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