Cops release pic of witness after man pushed to the ground and raped near nature reserve

POLICE have released a picture of a potential witness after a man was shoved to the ground and raped near a nature reserve.

A probe was launched after the victim was attacked at 7.30pm on Thursday near the Maze Nature Reserve, close to Middlesbrough.

The man, in his 40s, said he was walking along a footpath known as the Black Path when he was approached by a male.

He was then pushed to the ground and raped before the suspect fled the scene.

Cleveland Police today released CCTV images of a potential witness they wish to speak to.

Detective Sergeant Iain Pearson said: “We have now displayed posters in the area around where the incident took place, in a bid to try to identify the man in the image, who has not yet come forward or been identified.

“We would again like to appeal for the public’s assistance in identifying this man, as a potential witness to a very serious incident.

"Anyone who has information regarding this man is asked to get in touch with us on 101, or Crimestoppers [0800 555 111].

“The victim continues to receive support from police and partner agencies as a result of the incident.”

The suspect has been described as black, late 30s, around 5ft 10ins tall and of a stocky build.

He had short, black hair, was clean shaven and had a "prominent" gap between his front upper teeth.

Police say he spoke English but was not fluent and was wearing dark clothing.

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