Man arrested for sexually assaulting woman who was jogging, Peoria Police say

A Phoenix man was arrested after police say he sexually assaulted a woman who was jogging on a Peoria trail.

On Jan. 28, 27-year-old Steven Ryan Michael reportedly came up behind a woman jogging on Skunk Creek Trail near 75th Avenue and Bell Road and threw her to the ground.

He "got on top of her and sexually abused her. The victim aggressively fought Steven, and was able to get away to call 911," police said.

Court documents say while Michael was on top of the woman, she punched him, but then he grabbed her chest. As she screamed for help and told him to stop, she continued to fight back and kick him in the groin – which is when he got off of her, and she ran away.

The woman didn't have her phone on her, so she ran home to tell her husband, and he called 911.

Michael was found near where the alleged incident happened and was arrested after he reportedly ran from officers at first.

Police say once they took him into custody, his story didn't add up. First, he told officers he took a bus from Phoenix to the area to go hiking but wasn't wearing hiking clothes and wasn't near a hiking trail. Then he told officers he was waiting for Arrowhead Towne Center to open.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of several felony counts, including, sexual abuse, attempted sexual assault, aggravated assault and kidnapping.

Anyone who witnessed this, or has more information, is asked to call Det. Koerner with the Peoria Police Department Special Victim’s Unit at 623-773-8874.

27-year-old Steven Ryan Michael

‘It’s a blessing that she was able to get away’

"It just blows my mind that even happened because I’ve never …" Mackenzie Ridgeway, a Peoria resident, paused. "This trail, usually a lot of people are just walking their dogs. It’s very peaceful."

Peoria resident Steve Sammer is stunned.

"You know, that’s pretty scary," he said.

Ridgeway says it's a miracle the victim was able to escape.

"I can’t even imagine going through what she already had to go through just to get him off of her but the fact that she escaped, it’s a miracle, and it’s a blessing that she was able to get away," she said. "People like that shouldn’t be walking around and doing that. Justice needs to be served for people that are victimized like that. They should not be out here roaming around free."

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