PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Ottawa County authorities said a 23-year-old woman was held a knifepoint and forced into a car after leaving the bathroom at Holland State Park over the weekend.
“She doesn’t believe that she knew the attacker,” Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mark Bennett said Monday. “(She had) very minor injuries; she was treated and released from the hospital.”
It happened Saturday afternoon. Investigators said a brown-haired man, last seen wearing black and blue shorts and a white T-shirt forced the woman into four-door black car. He then drove the woman to an undisclosed location off park grounds, where she was later set free.
Investigators wouldn’t identify how the woman was able to get out of the car but said she managed to eventually get back home on her own.
“She was able to get apart from her assailant and was able to go home where she reported to police,” Bennett said. “She went back to her vehicle at the state park.”
News of the attack came as a shock to Linda Dykert, who has owned Beachplace Café at Holland State Park for more than 14 years.
“It’s heartbreaking and disappointing to think that that can go on here,” Dykert said. “My family has been enjoying this for over 30 years.”
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources called the assault “disturbing,” saying an incident of this magnitude has never happened at Holland State Park. The DNR also assured the public it is providing an appropriate amount of security.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said its urging anyone who may have seen anything suspicious over the weekend to give them a call.
You can reach Ottawa County Central Dispatch at 1.800.249.0911 or Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.