A Colorado man is accused of attacking a hiker while posing as search-and-rescue personnel, according to local authorities.
William Tidwell, 50, of Northglenn, is facing charges of unlawful sexual contact by force, second-degree assault, and impersonating a public servant following the July 25 attack.
The female victim was hiking in the area of Caribou Road and Forest Service Road 505 in Boulder County near the Caribou Dispersed Camping Area when an unknown man approached her in what she described as a search-and-rescue vehicle, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) said in a press release.
“The male offered her a ride to a different trail in the area. While with him, she was sexually and physically assaulted. Ultimately, she was able to leave the male and immediately reported this incident to the sheriff’s office,” BCSO said.
She described the suspect as a bald man in his 50s with a graying beard.
She also said he was wearing what appeared to be an official search-and-rescue uniform shirt.
Investigators later obtained a warrant for Tidwell’s arrest, and the Idaho Springs Police Department took him into custody on August 7.
In a video posted to Facebook on February 28, Tidwell said he runs a “personal training service as well as a search-and-rescue service,” but he had plans to start a “kink apparel” company, as well.
Photos posted to Tidwell’s Facebook page appear to show his search-and-rescue vehicle — a white Jeep truck displaying official-looking search-and-rescue stickers.
A sticker that reads “S.A.R.” can be seen on the back of the truck.
Meanwhile, in Jefferson County, Colorado, authorities on Thursday arrested a suspect described as a “prolific sexual predator” targeting hikers at Stapleton Park, near the Beaver Brook Trail.
That suspect, whom the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office did not name, allegedly “exposed himself” to two lone, female hikers. He also allegedly attempted to “grab” one of the women.
After a two-and-a-half-hour search, authorities found a male suspect “hiding in the woods.”
They chased him on foot before taking him into custody.
Authorities believe there may be additional victims who have encountered Tidwell, and they are asking anyone with relevant information to contact Detective Garrett Eastman with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office at 303-441-3633, or via email at: [email protected].
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