‘I did what I had to do:' Overland Park woman recounts encounter with man on Indian Creek Trail

Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 19:35:47-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Stephanie Steineger said the man asked a simple question that made her drop her guard.

When he attacked her, she fought back – landing a kick where it would do the most damage.

“I heard a guttural moan,” Steineger said.

On Tuesday evening, the 51-year-old kickboxing instructor went for a run on the Indian Creek Trail

“I was going to do 9 or 10 [miles], and then it felt really good – I had been nursing an injury – I was like I’m going to do 14,” Steineger said.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Woman says man grabbed her during Indian Creek Trail jog, but she escaped

With just half mile to go at dusk, she spotted a man coming toward her in the opposite direction on the trail near 119th and Quivira.

“I couldn’t see anything in his eyes that he was out to get me. It was just one of those – he was just kind of sauntering,” Steineger said.

She said the man stopped her to ask what time it was, and as she went to look at her watch he snatched her wrist.

Steineger fought back, grabbing his wrist and kicking him right in the groin.

“One of the things that I always say when I’m teaching is think about where it’s going to hurt them the most. So that’s where you want to aim your kicks and punches for and that’s exactly what I did,” Steineger said.

She ran to the Little Caesars off the trail to call for help.

“I was proud of myself that I didn’t panic, and I just did – my instincts kicked in and I listened and I did what I had to do,” Steineger said.

Police searched the area with dogs, but weren't able to find a suspect matching the vague description.

Despite what happened Tuesday, Steineger plans to keep running on the Indian Creek Trail, just as she’s done for last 14 years.

“I just want people to be aware. Don’t get complacent. Don’t think it can’t happen to you because it can,” Steineger said.

Overland Park Police still looking for the suspect, who is described as a white man, with a slim build and dark hair, wearing a dark zip up hoodie, dark jeans and glasses.

There are no surveillance cameras around the portion of the trail where Steineger was attacked. If you saw someone suspicious in area of 119th and Quivira Tuesday night around 8 p.m., you’re asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-895-6300, or the TIPS Hotline 816-474-TIPS (8477).