A South Toledo woman was assaulted yesterday as she waited for a TARTA bus at a stop at Reynolds Road and Brownstone Boulevard.
It is the fourth time in the last month that a female has been accosted while either walking to a bus stop or waiting for a bus.
But Toledo police do not think the assault is connected to the three other incidents that involved teenage girls on their way to school, or three incidents last Wednesday in which a man either tried to expose himself to girls heading to school or did so.
“It's a weird coincidence, but usually a guy will not go after kids and a 57-year-old woman,” Sgt. George Kral said.
Patricia Meagher was standing behind a bench about 6 a.m. when she was grabbed around the throat by a man who was behind her. The man tried to drag her up a slope into a wooded area in front of Maumee Valley Country Day School, police said.
The man said nothing and did not try to grab her purse. As he dragged her up the slope, she begged him to let her go. He told her to be quiet or he would kill her, police said.
Ms. Meagher continued to struggle with the man, broke free, and staggered out toward the street with blood dripping from her nose, police said.
She stood in the curb lane on Reynolds and tried to get someone to stop, but vehicles just drove around her. The Toledo Area Transit Authority bus she was to ride pulled up, and the driver assisted her, police said.
Ms. Meagher was treated at Medical College of Ohio Hospitals. She could not describe her assailant, but a TARTA supervisor told authorities that another driver said a black man wearing a dark jacket and riding a bicycle approached the driver about 5:30 a.m. and asked for money. Police said the man might be 5 feet, 8 inches tall and may have worn a knit cap or ski mask.
The vague description of the man, the lack of sexual contact, and the difference in the ages between Ms. Meagher and the girls lead police to believe the assault is unrelated to the incidents last month.
On Oct. 3, a 13-year-old central Toledo girl was raped behind a house on Bryant Court near a TARTA stop at Collingwood Boulevard and West Central Avenue, according to police.
A week later, a man tried to lure a 15-year-old West Toledo girl into a vehicle in the area of Auburn and Goodale avenues as she was walking to a TARTA bus stop about 6 a.m.
On Oct. 17, a 16-year-old South Toledo girl was assaulted while she was walking in the 600 block of North Detroit Avenue to a TARTA bus stop about 6 a.m., authorities said.
Last Wednesday, a man in a car exposed himself to two girls, aged 12 and 16, walking to school in central Toledo in separate incidents on Mulberry Street, near Noble Street, and on Franklin Avenue, near Columbia Street, between 9:15 and 9:35 a.m.
The man tried to grab the 16-year-old girl but was scared away by a stranger.
Extra officers are patrolling TARTA and school bus stops throughout the city, and TARTA employees also are keeping watch.
A sketch of the man who raped the 13-year-old girl is posted in TARTA buses, Sergeant Kral said.