Jogger attacked with metal pipe in East Nashville park

Suspect was sitting in silver SUV when he got out and attacked the jogger from behind.
Metro Police are investigating an attack on a man out for a run in Tom Joy Park on Sunday afternoon.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 2:27 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 4:34 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Police are investigating an attack on a man out for a run in Tom Joy Park on Sunday afternoon.

Police said the 30-year-old man ran past a silver SUV that the suspect was sitting in. The suspect jumped out and attacked the man from behind with a pipe.

The man was taken to the hospital with injuries to his head and a severe cut on his leg, according to police. The injuries are not believed to be serious.

The suspect stole the man’s phone, jumped back in the SUV and drove away, police said. The phone was tracked and recovered nearby after it appeared to be thrown out the window.

Cora, 14, was playing with her dog in the park when the attack happened. She saw the man on the ground with the suspect standing over him swinging the metal pipe.

“His leg is bleeding pretty bad,” Cora said. “He was sort of wobbling. I was like, ‘hey, what’s going on.’ He said, ‘I have a lump on the back of my head and pretty woozy.’ He sits down on the grass and I am like, ‘ok, I should go get help.’”

Police said it was an unprovoked random attack with no known motive. Cora said it was shocking to see this happen in a park she goes to every day and is planning on staying closer to home until the suspect is arrested.

“For the police to show up (at your house) and be like, ‘here’s your kid that was at the park,’ (is unsettling),” Cora’s mom, Ariana, said.

“I would have never predicted that 2 p.m. on a Sunday would’ve been a don’t go to the park time, but maybe it’s time to just circle our block for a little while and feel more confident and more comfortable,” Ariana said.

The suspect was between the age of 25 and 30 and is about 5′9″ with a thin build. He has short black hair, a short beard, and a mustache, according to police.

Metro Police believe the suspect may be connected to another robbery in the past week.

Alex Harmon walks in Tom Joy Park multiple times per day. He said it’s very surprising to have an attack like this happen, but he already takes precautions to keep himself safe while walking.

“Just keeping an eye out and taking a look to make sure nothing seems overly suspicious,” Harmon said. “Every once in a while you see a creepy character.”

“If I have my headphones in, not having it too loud that I can’t hear somebody coming up behind me,” Harmon said. “Always walking with a phone. I try not to jog in the neighborhood just because there aren’t a lot of safe avenues (with sidewalks) for it besides just this park that gets busy enough in the first place.”

Police are asking people in the area of the park to check cameras and call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 with information.