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Naked man startles trail walker

A naked man on the Litton Trail has spawned a flurry of e-mails among western Nevada County residents already on edge after a sexual assault in Nevada City earlier this month.

And a man spotted camping near the trail Thursday morning appears not to be the same person, police said Friday.

Police described the suspect as a white man, and a witness said he has a “stout build.”



A woman walking on the trail at about 4 p.m. Oct. 22 called Grass Valley police to report seeing a man on the trail who had wrapped a gray T-shirt around his head; the man appeared to be wearing nothing else.

According to the e-mail, she was walking along the trail on the section adjacent to Sierra College heading toward Litton Hill Road, when a man appeared ahead of her on the trail, going in the same direction.




“I didn’t think much about it until he started to pull his gray T-shirt off and put it on top of his head,” the unidentified woman wrote. “It had started to rain, and I thought it odd that he would be wanting to keep the rain off of his head at the expense of getting his torso wet.”

The woman told police officers he then walked off the trail into some bushes, said Capt. Dave Remillard.

“There was some brush keeping me from clearly seeing his body,” the woman wrote in her e-mail. “However, I could see enough to know that he was completely naked and masturbating … I realized that I had better turn around and get out of there.”

Police canvassed the area, checked the suspect’s description against known sex offenders in the region and sent out a crime bulletin to Sierra College security, Remillard said. They also are conducting extra patrols along the trail.

“We take these incidents very seriously,” Remillard said. “We are taking extra steps to make the area secure and locate the suspect.”

Two separate, similar incidents were reported on the trail back in January.

At 4:48 p.m. Jan. 16, a caller from Litton Trail reported a man with a blue shirt on his head had been seen running with no clothing. At 5:37 p.m., another caller reported a person standing at the trail entrance, completely nude. Officers could not locate the man.

“We did find the incidents with a similar m.o., but we are not sure if it is the same guy,” Remillard said.

At about 8:14 a.m. Thursday, a person called police to report seeing a man “camped under power lines” in the area, but the transient did not fit the description of the naked runner, Remillard said.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.


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