Police: DNA led investigators to man charged with attacking teen on bike path in Beach Park
Police said Wednesday they have arrested the man who attacked a 16-year-old girl earlier this month on the Robert McClory Bike Path just north of Yorkhouse Road in Beach Park.
Tramane Johnson, 27, of the 38700 block of Sheridan Road in Beach Park, was charged with two counts of attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the Lake County sheriff's office announced.
Sheriff's office Chief of Staff Anthony Vega said police were able to match DNA from a hair sample recovered from the scene of the attack to Johnson's DNA. Johnson's DNA was in a database because of previous out-of-state weapons charges, Vega said.
After making the DNA match, officers began surveilling Johnson's home. Police obtained an arrest warrant and took Johnson into custody without incident, Vega said.
Vega said investigators were conducting a search of Johnson's home Wednesday afternoon.
According to initial police accounts, a man approached the girl on the evening of June 7 as she walked on the bike path, pushed her to the ground, removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her. Police said a nearby resident heard the girl scream and came to help. As the resident approached, the attacker ran away.
Sheriff John D. Idleburg said that while a DNA sample ultimately enabled investigators to identify Johnson, the case was a prime example of the partnership between law enforcement and the community.
"Hundreds of shares on social media, and dozens of messages and tips came in to aid our pursuit of justice for the victim," Idleburg said. "I want to thank the public at large for their help in this case, and all of our law enforcement partners."
Johnson is expected to go before a Lake County judge for a bond hearing before the end of the week.