TYLER, Texas — While Morgan Magee was having her daily visit to the park, she says a man blocked her path and then stalked her.

Magee says she felt suspicious when she saw a man three times along her usual path. She became more concerned when she noticed he was following her. According to her Facebook post, she says "If I walked/ he walked, if I ran/he ran." 

Morgan Magee FB Post
Morgan Magee

Magee says the suspect got close enough to pull out one of her earphones to talk to her. She says she, "blew him off" and continued on her journey. Then, she says the man moved towards her.

“He just seemed more and more aggressive. He tried to stand in my way again. And I started taking off," Magee remembered. "When it got secluded, that's when I noticed he was starting to chase me. And that's when I turned off my music, and I started to call the Tyler dispatch.” 

Magee was able to stay on the phone with the dispatch until she was able to get out of the park and meet with officers. 

"I kept thinking about my two beautiful babies and that I had to pick them up later," MaGee recalled. "And nobody was going to truly stop me from getting back to them."

Don Martin of the Tyler Police Department says the man, Salvador Zapata Jr., 30, was not supposed to be in a city park because he was warned from them about eight years ago.

Zapata Jr.
Smith County Jail

Martin says in 2011, Zapata allegedly exposed himself to a female inside the park. However, he was neither arrested nor charged.

However, because of the warning he received in 2011, he was arrested for criminal trespassing Monday, the day of the incident. He has since been released on bond.

"This type of activity can happen anywhere, no one's immune to it," Martin said. "We can't be everywhere all the time, we do have extra patrol in the parks when we have the manpower available.”

Margee says this was a lesson learned for her and hopefully for others.

“I definitely anymore aware of my surroundings and the risk," Margee said. "I don't think it'll deter me from coming back here. It's just, I'm going to go about it a different way now.”

The incident marks the second time a woman reported an incident concerning a man at Rose Rudman Park.

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In March, a man attacked a home woman at the park and attempted to sexually assault her. The woman was able to get away.

Police identified the suspect as James Earl Roberts. Roberts was arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping. However, he was deemed to be incompetent to stand trial and transferred to a mental health facility.

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