Just a reminder to remain vigilant when you're out training on the trails, and to "be safe, run/bike with a buddy," especially when it's getting dark earlier these days.
A woman using the popular Capital Crescent Trail was sexually assaulted Sunday evening while jogging through the Montgomery County portion of the trail.
The 21-year-old victim, who is recovering in an area hospital today, called Montgomery County Police at 7:13 p.m. yesterday to report that while running between Massachusetts Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, she was struck from behind, knocked unconscious and moved off the trail and into the woods, a police spokeswoman said. The suspect fled when she came to, police said.
After waking up, the victim yelled for help and was aided by another jogger, with whom she went to the 4900 block of Brookeway Drive in Bethesda. From there they were able to notify police of the incident. The U.S. Park Police also responded to the scene.
An MCP spokeswoman described the suspect as a white male in his 20s wearing dark clothing. On the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail's website, the suspect was also reported as fleeing on a bicycle with a basket affixed to the front.
The assault occurred around sunset, when there is very little natural light along the heavily wooded trail. The trail coalition advises runners, walkers and cyclists to travel with "strength in numbers" at dusk.
The Capital Crescent Trail was also been the site of several assaults and robberies earlier this year. At least three incidents were recorded between July and September in a tunnel that connects the trail with Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda.
In July, Park Police investigated a sexual assault against a female jogger on the Capital Crescent Trail near Fletcher's Boathouse in the Palisades.
In light of things like this constantly making the rounds of news stories, would it be possible to get DC Tri to somehow sponsor a self defense seminar? Seems like all of us could use some basic tips to thwart a possible attacker.
Scary. I've been using that trail since I was a kid - never had any problems at all. Always figured it was pretty safe.
These days I live on the Hill and spend most of my time running around the Mall, Mt Vernon Trail, and Anacosita river trail. So far so good.
Stay safe out there people.