Horry County police investigating attempted sexual assault

Detectives with the Horry County Police Department are investigating an attempted sexual assault that occurred Wednesday near Surfside Beach.

About 5 p.m., a woman was walking on the pathway of the abandoned golf course in Deerfield when she saw a man sitting at a pond. He yelled for her to come over. The woman walked fast to get away, but the man ran after her.

Police say the man caught up to the woman and knocked her to the ground. He got on top of her and slapped her in the face. After she was slapped, the victim kicked the suspect in the groin, incapacitating him.

She was able to run away and get to safety.

NewsChannel 15 talked with neighbors, and they are surprised by the incident.

Richard Cippoletti says the old cart paths have turned into walkways for many. "It's really a shame that we had something like that happening. I haven't heard of anything like that happening in this area at all. Just a little vandalism we had at one time with a couple of kids, but nothing really serious."

Cippoletti adds he and his neighbors look out for each other and would like to see more police patrols in the area.

The incident is now under investigation by detectives with the Horry County Police Department's Violent Crimes Section.

The suspect is described as a white man, 30-45 years of age, 5'8" tall, around 160 pounds. He has long curly brown hair and a full beard and moustache.

Detectives are asking anyone with information leading to the identity of the suspect to call them at 915-5350 or 915-TIPS.

If you see any suspicious activity in the area of the incident at any time, call 911 and report it to the Horry County Police Department.