By: Brittany Comak


Twitter: @BComakABC6

COVENTRY, RI (WLNE) - A man has been arrested for sexual assault after a woman claims he grabbed her breast on the Coventry Greenway.

Police in Coventry are investigating an alleged sexual assault that happened on the bike path behind the town hall there this morning.

It was just after 9 Thursday morning when they got a call from a woman claiming she had been sexually assaulted on the bike path

"Absolutely shocking," said Mark Verrier, who frequents the path. "Never heard anything like that around here at all ever."

According to police a man allegedly walked up to the woman, groped her chest, and continued walking.

"I'm very surprised," said Representative George Nardone, who happened to be walking his dog there Thursday night. "Nothing like this has ever happened before to my knowledge. I'm very surprised."

A few hours later police say they noticed Gary Arnold, Jr. on surveillance footage on the bike path and the victim was then able to identify Arnold Jr. as her attacker.

Verrier, who was there with his grandson Thursday night, says he's always considered the bike path safe.

"Bikepath - usually no issues whatsoever," he said. "We're down it all the time. Never seen any issue, no problems whatsoever."

Most aren't letting the disturbing assault deter them from their evening walks.

"I frequent this bike path for the last 20 years and I've always seen families, I've always seen, you know, very good people coming up and down this bike path," said Nardone. "It's a very nice path to walk."

 Arnold Jr. will be charged with 2nd degree sexual assault, obstruction of justice, and disorderly conduct.

Police are holding him until his court appearance. They say he has a lengthy criminal history.


© WLNE-TV 2019