A Midstate father is speaking out Wednesday night after his 16-year-old daughter was attacked on the side of the interstate.
The father, who asked to not be identified, says he got a call Sunday around 8:20 p.m. from his daughter saying she got flat tire on I-65 between Cool Springs Boulevard and McEwen Drive.
“She was upset, obviously, because she was on the side of the road, and she’s never had to deal with a flat tire before,” he said. “My first reaction was get in the car, go to her.”
He says when he pulled up, she wasn’t at her car, so he screamed her name, but there was no response.
“I screamed one more time and that’s when I heard her at the top of her lungs at the bottom of the ditch crying, you know, screaming for help,” her dad said.
She told him she never heard the man come up behind her before grabbing her and throwing her down into the nearby ditch. Police say the teen managed to scream when the man took his hand off her mouth for a moment, scaring him off.
“She’s scared to death,” her father said. “I watched her today, and she didn’t want to drive.”
He says the whole family is devastated and taking it moment by moment.
“It’s just gonna take some time,” he said. “Some hours are good. Some hours are bad.”
He wants to warn other parents to go over a safety plan with their children, especially about what to do if they get a flat tire.
“Stop playing the 'what-if game' and just understand we gotta be more careful with our surroundings and just do a better job of where we are and who we’re surrounding ourselves with,” he said.
Franklin police are calling this is an attempted sexual assault.
The suspect is described as a white man, 6 feet tall with brown teeth and dirty blonde hair.