DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — Lawmen are searching for information about an incident that left one woman injured Tuesday afternoon.
According to a press release from the DeFuniak Springs Police Department, officers responded to the area of Circle Drive and Georgia Avenue about 3:15 p.m. regarding a woman who said she had been assaulted. Witnesses said they found her lying face down on the ground near a sidewalk.
The victim told officers she was walking and noticed a white man wearing an oversized dark blue hoodie and dark pants across the street. She said the man came up to her from behind and shoved her to the ground.
As she began to yell, she said the suspect yelled for her to "shut up." She reported seeing a pocket knife, the press release said.
A Walton County sheriff’s deputy stopped to help the victim until officers and the Walton County Fire Rescue arrived. Her face was covered in dirt and her arm had bruising consistent with being grabbed. The victim was taken by a private vehicle to Healthmark Regional Medical Center for evaluation, police said.
K-9 teams from Walton and Okaloosa correctional institutions were called to search the area but were unable to find the suspect.
Walton Middle School was placed on lockdown until the area was cleared. Most students had been released for the day just before the incident was reported, the release said.
Officers believe the suspect tried to rob the woman of her cellphone. The woman's reaction caused the suspect to flee without getting the phone, the release said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Paul Lewis at 892-8513. Callers may remain anonymous by contacting Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 863-8499, on www.emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com or submit a tip via the P3 Mobile App.