POLICE are investigating a report of a rape which happened around 7.30pm yesterday on the footpath known as the black path which runs from Tees Barrage to Newport bridge.
The incident is alleged to have happened near to Maze Park Nature Reserve.
The male victim, aged in his forties, reported that he was walking along the path in the direction when he was approached by a man, pushed to the ground and raped.
The suspect is described as black, aged in his late thirties, around 5ft 10” tall, of stocky build with short, black hair and a prominent gap between his front upper teeth.
He was clean shaven and spoke English but was not fluent. He was wearing dark clothing.
Officers believe that two women may have been in the area around Newport Bridge and seen a distressed male.
Officers are asking the women to come forward and contact them, as they may have information which could assist the police investigation.
These two women are described as being aged in their thirties and one with blonde, curly hair.
Detective Sergeant Iain Pearson said: “We are investigating a report of rape which happened around 7:30pm on the black path running from Tees Barrage to Newport Bridge, near to Maze Park Nature Reserve.
“All reports of rape are taken extremely seriously.
“Specially trained officers are supporting the victim and we are following up a number of lines of inquiry.
“Neighbourhood officers will have a high-visibility presence in the area for reassurance and anyone with concerns can approach those officers and speak with them.
“I would appeal to two women who may have been in the area around Newport Bridge at approximately 7.30pm last night, who may have seen a distressed male, as they may be able to assist our investigation.”
Any witnesses or anyone who may have information regarding the incident or the person responsible is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, quoting incident number 068313.
Independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.