Detectives in Suffolk County are investigating after a woman was attacked and raped as she walked in a wooded area, authorities said Friday.
The woman was walking on a sort of informal trail -- a wooded cut-through to the other side of the street -- near Route 112 and Skips Road in Coram around 1:45 p.m. a day earlier when a stranger attacked her.
The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Police said the woman, in her 20s, told officers she noticed the man following her until he jumped in front and grabbed her. At one point she told officers she was knocked unconscious and raped.
The woman was familiar with the trail because it's one she takes often.
"The poor girl is devastated, her parents devastasted and the sad thing equally is it could have been prevented," David Cion, a Coram resident who knows the victim, said Friday.
"The girl was doing her laundry. Coming back from the laundromat, walking down the trail, a shortcut," he explained. "In the middle of the day mind you, and she gets brutally attacked. What else has to happen before someone takes this seriously."
Officials did not say whether they thought the attack was a crime of opportunity or of the man had been following her for some time.
Police ask anyone with information to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.