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DPS looking for man it says assaulted woman in Parleys Canyon


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PARLEYS CANYON — The Department of Public Safety is searching for a man who it says violently assaulted a woman on I-80 in Parleys Canyon Wednesday night after she stopped to help him.

Police responded to reports of an assault around 10:15 p.m. on eastbound I-80 near the Lambs Canyon exit in Parleys Canyon. Department of Public Safety public relations director Marissa Cote said a woman stopped to help when she saw a truck pulled over on the side of the road.

A man who was with the truck on the side of the road allegedly attempted to hold the woman against her will and "violently assaulted her," according to Cote. The woman escaped and called 911, and the man fled.

The woman, 29-year-old, Reah Vance of West Jordan, described her ordeal to KSL.

"There was a guy that was just kind of waving his hands around next to his truck like he needed help, so I stopped to see what was going on," Vance said.

She stopped her car, ran over to the passenger's side where the man was standing and that's when Vance said the attack began.

"I felt something, a cord of some sort around my neck and he started holding the cord while — I don't know if he was using his knee what he was using — but he was trying to push me into the truck. He ended up kind of rolling onto me and started punching me in the face.”

Vance said she fought back, knocking them both to the ground.

"I kicked him as hard as I could just trying to get him off of me," she said.

Remarkably, Vance was able to kick him and get away. Vance can’t imagine what she might have endured if she didn’t fight back.

"I can't imagine what would have happened if he had gotten me into the truck. I may have never seen my kids again," she said.

Vance’s advice to someone in a similar situation: fight.

"Just fight. It doesn't matter what you hit, kick, bite and scream it does not matter just fight."

The man is described as a white male in his 20s or 30s with a muscular build. He is between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall, Cote said. He was wearing Wrangler jeans, a cowboy hat and a black T-shirt at the time of the attack and the victim recalls a strong smell of cigarettes.

The man was driving an older model brown truck with a large dent between the back right wheel and the bumper, police said. It is a lifted single-cab truck with small wheels.

Anyone with information can call the Utah Highway Patrol at 801-887-3800.

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Ashley Moser

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