Authorities Friday sought the public’s help to identify a man who groped a woman on a pedestrian path in San Jacinto.

The victim was assaulted about 7 a.m. Thursday in the area of East Commonwealth Avenue and Puentes Drive, near Park Hill Elementary School, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Sgt. Tom Mix said the woman first spotted the suspect as she traversed a walking path near Esplanade Avenue. The victim told deputies that when she started on her return trip home, she encountered the man on a different path, and he said something unintelligible to her.

“The suspect then lunged at the victim and touched her buttocks,” Mix said. “The victim screamed, and the suspect fled toward Los Rosas Avenue.”

She called 911 immediately afterward, and patrol deputies searched the area without success.

The suspect was described as a short and heavyset man wearing a gray-black hoodie sweatshirt and gray pants.

Anyone who may have information was asked to contact the sheriff’s San Jacinto station at 951-766-2400.

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