Manhunt continues for stranger accused of stabbing woman on Tacoma Point Defiance Park trail

TACOMA, Wash. - The manhunt continues for the stranger who stabbed a woman in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma in what appears to be a random attack Saturday.

Neighbors tell us it happened during the popular glass-art treasure hunt in the park called Monkeyshines.

"It’s very popular, especially on nice sunny days," said Ronda Steffan, a frequent park visitor.

Local residents say fortunately, there were other people on the trail at the time, and when they heard the woman scream, they rushed to help her.

"This weekend was a really busy weekend because of the great tradition of Monkeyshines of Tacoma and so the park was packed, there was people, kids dogs everywhere," said Connie Minerich, a park neighbor.

At around 1:00 pm on Saturday, neighbor Connie Minerich's phone started buzzing with notifications.  

"Alerts started coming through on our phones that there was a stabbing," said Minerich.

The whir of sirens soon followed.

"Police cars were coming behind me and ambulances and I knew in my heart that they were going to the park because we’ve had so many problems down here lately," said Minerich.

Tacoma Police say the woman was stabbed on a section of trail near 5-Mile Drive. Minerich says it happened in a wooded area called the Blue Trail.

"The Tacoma police did an excellent job of closing the park, getting everyone out safely," she said.

Others on the trail that day heard her scream, and rushed to stop the attack, saving the woman's life. They also caught a glimpse of her attacker before he ran off.

Monday, Tacoma Police released a description of the suspect, saying he's a man in his late 20s to 30s with a thin build, possible goatee and Afro-style hair, standing several inches off his head. He was wearing all-dark clothing at the time.

People who use the park frequently say they'll keep an eye out for anything suspicious. The Steffan family says they will bring their dog, Chewbacca, with them for an added layer of safety and security.

"He will bark at people if he sees them threatening," said Ronda Steffan.

Others say they're hoping that something will be done to make the area safer.

"I just live right up the street. It’s kind of scary the last couple of months we’ve had a lot of incidents in this park, and so I do wonder what they are doing to keep their citizens safe because this is just one of many incidents we’ve had here," said Minerich.

Police say the woman who was attacked was stable at last check.  If you know who is responsible, contact Tacoma Police.