Jogger battered and bruised after she’s pinned to ground by men in park attack
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A young woman has warned others not to go out alone in the dark after being attacked by three men while out for a run near her home.
Cait Smith, 23, was out for a night-time jog on Tuesday in Castle Park in Colchester, Essex, when she was ambushed from behind by a group of men who pinned her to the ground.
The young admin assistant was left with dark bruises to her arms, and scrapes and bruises on her face, as well as a swollen black eye from having her head "smashed" against the ground.
And despite it being a route that Cait runs regularly, she said she will no longer be jogging in the park after the "terrifying" incident.
Cait has been flooded with thousands of messages and comments of support since posting on Facebook on Wednesday morning about the assault.
And she is now warning other young women and men to be aware of the "dangers" of going out in the dark.
She said: "It's terrifying that other young people like me should have to live by a different clock out of fear.
"But that is what I want other people – not just women, but everyone – to be aware of. I don't want this to happen to anyone else.
"From now on, when I feel able to go out running again, I'll be sticking to busier areas."
Cait was out for a run on Tuesday night at around 10pm when the assault happened.
She said: "I run in Castle Park a couple of times a week, and I've never felt threatened down there.
"I normally wear a head torch when I'm running, so I can keep my wits about me. But typically, this was the one occassion where I forgot it.
"I had stopped running for a moment to change my music on my phone, and I got grabbed from behind – I didn't even see it coming at all.
"I was wrestled to the ground, and one of the men was sat on top of me, while another was holding my head to the floor. I've been left with a big lump on my face from where they smashed my head to the ground."
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Cait said there were no other people around to come to her rescue.
But she said: "I'm lucky that I'm quite feisty – I can hold myself in a fight.
"I don't think they were expecting me to fight back – so I just fought as hard as I could and then legged it away from them.
"I don't live that far from the park, so I was able to just get myself back home. But if it was any other person it happened to, maybe someone a bit more vulnerable, they might not have been as lucky as me."
Cait said that from now on, she will stick to running in the daytime, and in busier areas of the town centre.
She said: "It's not right that women, or anyone, should have to avoid going out at night because of fear that they might be assaulted. Things have to change."
Cait said she reported the incident to Essex Police.
Police have been approached for comment.
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