Another assault reported on American Tobacco Trail in Durham - WNCN: News, Weather

Another assault reported on American Tobacco Trail in Durham

By Nbc17 Staff

Durham Police say another assault has been reported by a jogger on the American Tobacco Trail.

The male jogger told police he was running on the trail between Otis Street and Fayetteville Street around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when he noticed a group of four or five young black males loitering.

The victim said he ran by them and continued to run down the trail. As he was returning, the group of males assaulted him. The jogger was able to run home and contact police.

Authorities said the victim reported the suspects were between 12 and 16 years old.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez called the attack "simple assault," explaining "a lot of it had to do with an individual throwing things at him, and tripping him to cause him to fall."

"The simple assaults don't appear to be motivated by robberies," Lopez said. "It appears to be motivated by mischievousness and locations where they find individuals who are clearly running by themselves."

This isn't the first assault reported on the trail. In May, two people were assaulted by a group of young men. Lopez said police patrol the trail "pretty heavily, but of course we can't have a police officer in every segment of 7.5 miles."

Despite the incidents, Lopez assured that the trail is still relatively safe.

"The community has to realize we’re talking six incidents this year as far as simple assaults on the trail. A few of which we’ve got arrests," Lopez said. "So if you look at that versus the thousands of people who run on the trail on a daily basis, it’s pretty safe."

He said anyone who visits the trail, or any trail, should be cautious as it becomes dark outside.

"When it starts getting dark, it’s not a good idea to be on any trail in the U.S., not just the city of Durham,” Lopez said. “What happened on the trail here is indicative of what happens on other trails throughout the U.S."

Anyone with information on any of the American Tobacco Trail assaults is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (919)683-1200.

Here are a few crime prevention tips provided by the Durham Police Department:

  • Call 911 to report any suspicious activity
  • Walk in well-lit areas that are not isolated
  • Carry a cell phone
  • Walk/run in pairs
  • Be aware of surroundings
  • Do not carry extra cash or valuables
  • Avoid loiterers or people hanging out in groups

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