Stay one step ahead when out walking alone

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — On May 18, investigators said a woman was walking down a road near her home to visit her grandfather at work. That is when officers said a man in a pick-up truck pulled up next to her, asking if she needed a ride.

“He then jumped out of the vehicle and attacked her. He did not have any pants on when he got out of the vehicle, and he forced her to the ground,” said Sgt. Johnny Alexander, an investigator with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said the alleged attacker was 47-year-old Timothy Ragan from Ramer. They said he had previously been arrested for similar charges in McNairy County.

“For walking around without any pants on,” Sgt. Alexander said.

Investigators said it happened near the intersection of Watkins Road and Highway 142. They said the fact that the woman fought her alleged attacker was probably how she was able to get away.

“If you are attacked, be sure to yell, scream, kick, punch, scratch, bite,” Sgt. Alexander said, “do whatever you can to get them away from you.”

Pepper spray on a key chain is easy to find. You can either buy it online or right out of the aisles of a local retailer, and it could save your life.

“Pepper spray is one of the easiest things to operate,” said Alexander. “All you got to do is point and push the button like spraying your hairspray.”

Alexander said never accept a ride from someone you do not know and always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get there.

Investigators said the victim was able to escape and hide in the woods until her alleged attacker left the scene. According to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, Ragan is facing charges of sexual battery, simple assault and indecent exposure.

Investigators said Ragan is being held at the Hardin County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. His court date is scheduled for July 23.