THP trooper detains attacker on Cookeville bike trail

Tennessee Highway Patrol, THP Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman was assaulted while walking along the Central Tennessee Heritage Rail Trail bicycle/walking trail in Cookeville.

Shortly before 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, the woman explained she encountered the individual as they walked in opposite directions. After they passed, the suspect grabbed the victim from behind and began touching her inappropriately while threatening her.

He was armed with a knife, and the victim resisted as a struggle ensued. The victim freed herself from the suspect’s hold on her.

The victim then ran from the scene and quickly encountered another walker, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jeff Brown.

Trooper Brown located the suspect, who was still on the trail, and detained him until the arrival of Cookeville police officers.

During the struggle, the victim sustained a knife wound to one of her hands. She was treated at the scene for her injuries. Her quick thinking and quick actions to defend herself quite possibly kept her from being more seriously injured.

Lance M. Estep, 34, of Cookeville, was arrested after being questioned by Cookeville police Detective Acuff. Estep was charged with Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Sexual Battery. He is being held on $50,000 bond.

The Central Tennessee Heritage Rail Trail provides one of the many safe and family friendly locations throughout the city to enjoy outdoor activities.