I am passing along a thread from the TriCATs email list regarding a series of attacks against women on the W & OD trail. As many of us ramp up marathon training long runs, it is especially important to "be careful out there." Ladies, leave the headphones home. Even on a Saturday or Sunday, when the heat cranks up, you can be quite alone in long stretches of the trail near where these attacks took place. Please always be alert.
W&OD Trail - Safey
Posted by: "Jeff" firstname.lastname@example.org runatduke
Thu Aug 6, 2009 9:29 am (PDT)
There have now been 3 attacks on women on the W&OD trail in the middle of the day between Vienna and Reston over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Yesterday I saw 2 police cars in Vienna on the trial where I started my bike ride and 2 police motorcycles on the trail in Reston. When I finished my ride, there was a park service truck monitoring the trail in Vienna.
Please be careful.
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Re: W&OD Trail - Safey
Posted by: "dario_gmu" email@example.com dario_gmu
Thu Aug 6, 2009 11:11 am (PDT)
The other wk, about mid-wk, I passed two police cars and a police motorcycle parked on the trail right near North Side Park/Eudor Park, which is b/t Ayra Hill Ave NE and Hunter Mill Rd.
Plus, there was a police helicopter making multiple flights up and down that same part of the trail. All this stuff was still taking place on my way back so I slowed down by the cops and asked if there was anything going on that I should keep an eye for and report.
One of the cops looked right at me, said no and everything was under control. This was the early part of the afternoon and the weather was nice so the trail was active. No one I asked seemed to know what had happened to bring the cops.
I thought it was strange but didn't see anything on the local news so didn't give it much thought the next day. Yesterday I passed a police car going up the trail right b/t Hunter Mill towards Ayra Hill.
Kinda pisses me off that the cop didn't say anything about the attacks when I asked. That's a big deal and folks should of been made aware the attacks right away.
Good tips on being safe while using public trails, as usual. But have there been any reports of attacks on the WOD from police or news outlets?
Police patrolling the trails doesn't necessarily mean there have been recent attacks...and I have yet to read any reports or even verbal confirmation that anything has happened. Thanks!
VIENNA, Va. - Vienna Police are urging joggers to use caution after a woman was assaulted in broad daylight on the Washington and Old Dominion Park Trail.
The assault occurred around 2 p.m. Wednesday as the 25-year-old woman was jogging near Ayhrill Avenue and the bridge to Northside Park.
Police say a man riding a brown or tan "cruiser" style bicycle stopped near the woman and exposed his genitals and began shouting.
As the woman tried to run past the man, he grabbed her and threw her to the ground. Police say he positioned himself on top of her and continued exposing himself and shouting.
The woman was able to break free from the man and called police. The man fled on his bicycle.
The suspect is described as a 35 to 45-year-old white man who was tan and clean shaven. Police say he was wearing a black swimsuit and no shirt. He had a black hat with the brim flipped up and white sneakers.
Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Scott Leroux at 703-255-6332.
Police are encouraging women to jog in pairs and carry a cell phone.
Another Crime Statistic That We Really Don't Want to Talk About
Admitting a problem just means losing our charm, eh?
Woman assaulted on W&OD Trail Source: Fairfax County Times Wed, July 15, 2009
At about 2 p.m. on July 15, a 25-year-old woman was assaulted while jogging on the Washington and Old Dominion Park Trail in Vienna between Ayrhill Avenue and the northern Vienna town line, near the bridge to Northside Park. As the woman was running, a man approached her on a brown or tan "cruiser" style bicycle.
The man rode toward the woman from the front, stopped his bicycle, and got off. He then exposed his genitals to the woman and began shouting at her.
As the woman attempted to run away from the man, he grabbed her and threw her to the ground. He then positioned himself on top of her and continued exposing himself and shouting, according to a release.
The woman was able to break free and fend off the attacker. She ran for assistance and a citizen called police. The assailant left the scene on his bicycle.
The assailant is described as white, 35-45 years old, clean shaven, well tanned, wearing black swim trunks and no shirt. He wore white sneakers and a black cyclist-type hat with the brim flipped up.
Vienna Man Charged with Rape, Burglary
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Fairfax County police arrested a 19-year-old man after he allegedly sexually assaulted a Vienna-area woman in her home, police said.
Police were called to a home in the 2600 block of Glengyle Drive at around 1:30 a.m. on July 18. The victim, a 48-year-old woman, had awakened and found a man in her bedroom, police said.
The suspect allegedly sexually assaulted the victim and fled from the home, police said. The victim ran to a nearby apartment and called police. Authorities transported her to Inova Fairfax Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police located the suspect around 1 a.m. on July 20 at a nearby business. Police transported the suspect, a Vienna resident, to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where he was charged with rape and burglary with the intent to commit rape.
I am not trying to minimize the seriousness of being safe on the WO&D, especially for women, as well as a great reminder from a fellow triathlete heavily involved and a great ambassador to the sport...
but I kind of have to ask...the first two stories are documenting the same incident from different news sources...the last story is unrelated to the WO&D trail...I am having a hard time making the connection...are these the three attacks referenced above?
Here you go CHAD! You know, I wanted to say something about your "large belly"....
From the Washington Post:
W&OD Trail Assaults Might Be Linked
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:47 AM
Three women have been assaulted on the W&OD Trail in the Vienna and Reston areas in recent weeks, and police in Fairfax County and Vienna are looking into whether the same man might be responsible for the incidents.
The first attack occurred July 15, when a 25-year-old woman reported that she was approached by a man on a bicycle about 2 p.m. as she was running near Ayr Hill Avenue in Vienna. Police said the man exposed himself, threw the woman to the ground and positioned himself over her. The woman broke free and ran for help.
The second and third incidents happened over a span of about 15 minutes in the Reston area Thursday. A woman walking on the trail west of Hunter Mill Road said a man approached on a bicycle, exposed himself and pedaled away. About 10 minutes later, two women walking near mile marker 13, west of the Vienna town limits, reported that a man exposed himself and grabbed one woman by the arm. She screamed and the man fled.
The assailant in all three incidents is described as about 40 years old, cleanshaven and tan, with no shirt, black shorts and a cyclist-type hat. The Fairfax victims said the man was about 5-foot-7 and 200 pounds, with "a large belly." Anyone with information about the attacker is asked to call 866-411-8477. A composite drawing of the man can be viewed at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/2009/080309updateexposure.htm.
-- Tom Jackman