MARLBORO (CBS) – The man accused of attacking a woman on a walking trail in Marlboro was ordered held without bail Tuesday. John Parker, 35, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Marlboro District Court on charges including assault and battery and assault to rape.
The 40-year-old woman was walking the Assabet River Rail Trail around 6:20 a.m. Monday when a man grabbed her around the neck and pulled her to the ground. She screamed as he tried to take off her clothes. As the woman fought him off, police say he told her to shut up, punched her in the face and ran away.
The woman used her cell phone to record him as he took off. Police released images and video of him Monday afternoon and announced the arrest of Parker hours later.
“It was great that she had kept her composure to a point where she was able to get her camera out and get that footage,” said Marlboro Police Sgt. Zac Attaway.
The video and surveillance images released by police immediately caught the attention of Erin Balthazar, who said Parker is her friend.
“I could tell right from the tattoos who it was,” Balthazar told WBZ-TV. “It was kind of shocking because he’s such a nice guy, and I would never expect it to be him.”
She said she’s glad she turned him in.
“Granted he’s a friend, but I think I did the right thing and I’m glad that the lady knows and she feels safer now,” Balthazar said.
Police said the woman ended up with injuries to her leg and mouth.
Parker appeared to have shaved his beard between the alleged attack and the time of his arrest. He’s being held until a hearing on Friday.