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Friends say former Aurora councilwoman was attacked by board-wielding man on High Line Canal Trail

Police: Two separate attacks in three days
High Line Canal assault suspect
High Line Canal Trail
Posted at 12:13 AM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 09:58:32-04

AURORA, Colo. — Friends say a former Aurora City Councilwoman was hospitalized Saturday after she was attacked while jogging on the High Line Canal Trail.

Police said there were two separate attacks over a three-day period.

The first one happened on July 8 around 11:30 a.m. near E. 2nd Avenue.

A woman had been riding her bicycle on the trail with her children when a man carrying a board struck her, knocking her off her bike.

She and her children were able to escape.

High Line Canal Trail

The second attack happened around 6 a.m. on July 11.

The victim was jogging near 1st Avenue and Moline Street when a man with a board struck her several times.

Police aren't releasing the victims' names, but friends say the woman attacked Saturday is former Aurora City Councilwoman Debi Hunter.

"I would normally be walking with her on that path on a Saturday morning," said neighbor Lisa Clark. "It's devastating. She loves that trail."

Lisa Clark & Debi Hunter.jpg

Aurora police released the below sketch of the suspect in that case.

Suspect Sketch.png

He is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall with an athletic build and short black hair. He was last seen riding a child's bicycle.

The suspect in the July 8 assault is described as a black male who is approximately 6 feet tall with curly hair. He was wearing a red shirt and black shorts at the time of the crime.

Clark said former Councilwoman Hunter is very passionate about walking as much as she can.

"She's pledged to walk 2,020 miles this year, so she's been walking every day — 10-plus miles — so this is what she does," Clark said.

When asked about Hunter's injuries, Clark sad she believes she had surgery Sunday afternoon.

"She has a fractured finger, I believe, and broken ribs, a black eye and something to do with her shoulder, a shoulder injury," she said.

Longtime friend Billie Mason said she met Hunter when they both worked at Aurora Public Schools headquarters.

"She has always been, from the very first day I met her, this amazing person with such drive and such a beautiful soul," Mason said. "She cares about so many people."

Clark said she feels blessed to know Hunter.

"She's so reasonable the way she processes things and cares about everybody and life and helps everybody, and she's just a ray of sunshine," she said.

If you recognize the man in the sketch contact the Aurora Police Department at 303-627-3100 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.