Man sentenced to 18 years in B-Line Trail attack
A 23-year-old man was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for tackling and beating a woman who was roller-blading on the B-Line Trail in Bloomington a year ago.
Scott J. Hedrick-Dwyer was arrested on charges of confinement, C felony and battery, A misdemeanor. The attack occurred in April 2013.
The judge cited an escalating criminal history, probation violations and the disregard for the justice system as factor for the punishment.
Hedrick-Dwyer was taken into custody in Owen County by Bloomington Police detectives when he mistakenly appeared for a court appearance that was actually scheduled for another date.
Police say a sketch released to the media after the April 7th attack led to several tips about the suspect's identity.
Officers were concerned that there would be more attacks after a woman was attacked in broad daylight.
Police said Hedrick-Dwyer targeted a woman who was rollerblading on the trail near marker 146.
"She noticed that there was a male ahead of her who began moving over into her anticipated path, and once she caught up with the individual, he then turned, tackled her to the ground and began beating her around the head," said Capt. Joe Qualters, Bloomington Police Dept.
"He began moving his hand down toward her shorts," Qualters added.
According to police, another woman on the trail saw the suspect and victim on the ground, screamed and called police on her cell phone.
Police said the man fled into the wooded area around the trail.
Police stepped up their presence on the trail after the attack last year, but say they believe the trail is still safe.
"I kind of wonder what the right strategy is, because it was broad daylight," said Mike Searlem, who lives near the trail and bikes on it frequently. "I mean, I can't imagine them patrolling here, 24-7."
"I didn't think anyone would do that in broad daylight," said Pamela Jackson, who was walking the trail when she heard about the attack.
Police said there are no emergency call boxes along the trail or cameras. "Our hope is that people will, much like other circumstances, take some responsibility for personal safety, such as not using the trail at night, making sure that maybe you have a cell phone available," said Qualters.