WATERTOWN — City police are investigating an attack of a woman that happened in Thompson Park on Friday night, just before the park closed.

Detective Lt. Joseph R. Donoghue Sr. said the attack occurred on an unspecified trail while the woman was walking in the park at dusk.

Police are not identifying the woman or providing many details about what happened.

However, they are considering the attack as an isolated incident. Lt. Donoghue said he believes that the park is safe, although there have been other reported attacks there over the years.

The attack was reported to police on Monday afternoon, he said. The woman was treated at Samaritan Medical Center and later released.

Police are looking for a jogger who found the woman’s phone after it had been lost during the attack. They are asking the jogger to contact investigators so they can interview the person.

Lt. Donoghue would not say how many people were involved in the incident.

The woman’s father, Ivan French, spoke at Monday night’s City Council meeting, calling it a rape.

“During the hours of the park that was open — knocked out cold and raped — something is going to be done,” he said.

He fears other attacks have gone unreported in the park. He told council members that security cameras should be installed at each of the park’s entrances. He’s also calling for more patrols in the park.

“I’m talking for her because she can’t talk for herself,” he said.

The woman was walking near some steps when she was hit in the head from behind and became unconscious, the father said.

He’s been trying to console his daughter since it happened.

“She’s still rolled up in a ball,” he said. “It’s hit too close to home. You tell people it’s not going to happen to you.”

Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr. told the father that “it was disconcerting.” He’s meeting with the father this afternoon.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call 315-782-2233.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(4) comments


My sense is there's more to this story...


Whenever I walk in the park I detect a "neighborhood watch" vibe, people seeming defensive and nosy about what I'm doing there, as though it weren't my park too, seeing as how I pay Watertown taxes on real estate I own, probably unlike many of the older people and mothers with strollers who probably don't even live in the city. Just because I am focused on my walking or enjoying the park scenery rather than walking a dog, socializing and confirming our mutual "okayness" (aka privilege). On that long stretch of stairs I stopped to rest halfway up and a woman who clearly had seen me acted all surprised and frightened like I was lurking when she passed, and I had to step around a guy up at the top scowling at me. I guess the unwritten rule is that bench isn't for actually using because then people could hang out there, it's just for show. I guess they don't patrol during dangerous hours or defend against real threats. Instead the real purpose is to paint a vibe and keep the riff raff out. Everything has to look scripted. I wonder what it's like for black people. And I wonder if some incident like this won't be a pretext to get worse.


probably unlike many of the older people and mothers with strollers who probably don't even live in the city. This seems like a stretch. No old people or mothers with children live in the city? Or if they do, they wouldn't use the park? I don't get it.


Wow! Look folks stupid on full display! Sorry but "older people and mothers with strollers" pay taxes too! If you are done emptying out your purse full of "okayness" (aka privilege)" next time you are at the park go to the look out and jump off!

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