This story was updated at 6 p.m.
FORT IRWIN - Authorities at Fort Irwin are still searching for man wanted in connection to an assault that occurred Thursday morning on the post.
According to an e-mail from Garrison Commander Col. Chris Philbrick obtained by the Desert Dispatch from an anonymous source, a service member's spouse was attacked at her home on post when she went home for lunch at 10 a.m. Thursday. The e-mail stated the attacker, a Hispanic man, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, medium build, medium length hair, wearing dark clothing and work gloves, hit the victim on the face and attempted to sexually assault her.
After a struggle, the suspect fled out a back door and into an alley, the e-mail stated. The victim suffered minor cuts and bruises on her face. She was treated and released from Weed Army Community Hospital. Philbrick expected the woman to make a full recovery.
About 10 women on Friday morning met at a park at Fort Irwin and marched to the commander's headquarters to request more information about the incident, the source said. Information regarding other assaults on post has been scarce, according to the source.
People have reported that a woman was attacked a few weeks ago and that a rape occurred in late September. Following the alleged rape, a petition circulated demanding more information about crime on post be made available to the Fort Irwin community, the source said.
The source asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from the military.
Philbrick said there have been other assaults on post, but none are related to Thursday's assault. He said following Thursday's assault, every attempt was made to make information available to the community. In regards to the other incidents, Philbrick said the community was notified through the chain of command, Internet, e-mail and the post newspaper, The High Desert Warrior.
In late September, Philbrick wrote an article in The High Desert Warrior about the safety of the post. In the article, he references six "acts of aggression against various persons on Fort Irwin." In three of the cases, all sexual assaults, suspects were identified and dealt with through the chain of command, Philbrick wrote. Investigations are continuing in the other three cases.
Traffic backed up leaving Fort Irwin on Thursday evening as authorities questioned and searched vehicles as part of the investigation. Fort Irwin authorities distributed a sketch on post of the man in question, and Philbrick said the investigation is continuing.
"I'm confident that with the public's help and the due diligence of our law enforcement, we will try to bring this to a speedy conclusion," he said. "At this point, it remains in the domain of Fort Irwin. We have not requested support from the county, city or state."
Philbrick said Fort Irwin does coordinate with outside law enforcement when there is a need and will in this case if it comes to that point. He said there is no evidence that links this assault to assaults and unsolved rapes in the Barstow area.
Anyone with information about the assault or the location of the man in question can call the Fort Irwin Police Department at 380-4444. To remain anonymous, call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME.
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Authorities seek man in Fort Irwin assault
This story was updated at 6 p.m.