Woman fights off peeping tom in Tyson Park bathroom

Beth Raisor did everything right. She planned her Saturday morning run on Third Creek Greenway with her husband and kids in broad daylight.

"It was early. There were tons of people playing tennis, families all around, I had no reason to feel unsafe," Raisor, a Knoxville resident said.

But in a place where she never thought she would need protection, the Tyson Park restrooms, she experienced what she calls the scariest moment of her life.

"I went into the bathroom and there was nobody in there, so I thought. It was really quiet," she said.

While she was still in the bathroom stall, she heard some rustling and then noticed a pair of large, white men's shoes. She looked down to find a man trying to get into her stall.

"He stooped down on all fours by the sink in front of my stall and he stuck his head under right by my leg. And I said 'What are you doing?'" she said.

After using profanity and vulgarity to describe what he wanted, she yelled for him to leave her alone.

"He didn't move. He sat there and stared really calm. I said, 'Get out!' and he didn't move so I kicked him in the face," Raisor said.

She had her phone with her and called 911. The kick forced him away from her stall but he still didn't leave.

"The thought that I kept thinking was my husband is 100 yards away and he can't hear me yelling and no one can hear me yelling," she said.

She didn't want to leave the stall without knowing he was gone. Eventually, he told her he was leaving and she heard the door close. She stayed on the phone with the 911 operator the entire time.

"The part that was the most concerning was that he was so calm. And nothing I was doing was fazing or bothering him at all," she said.

He got away before police could catch him.

This comes after three high profile incidents that women reported at Knoxville parks and greenways in the last month.

Raisor knows she did the right thing by standing up to him, but she worries about others.

"I could have been a kid, I could have been a little girl and so I'm grateful that I knew what to do," she said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Raisor said the peeping tom is 25 to 30 years old, with brown hair and eyes, and sharp features.

Knoxville police say Raisor couldn't have handled the situation any better. She had her phone with her. She decided she wasn't going to be a victim and fought back. They are asking everyone to be aware of your surroundings.

KPD said peeping toms are rare in Knoxville. They said this is the first report they have of a peeping tom this year.


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