As always, during the warmer months, trail usage picks up, and with it so does the crime.WRAL reports that there are three victims of attacks over the past week; this is following an apparent homicide on one of the ATT spur trails last month.
Maybe the most disturbing part of the latest trend is that these thugs aren’t just looking for money, they’re out for lolz, beating the crap out of unsuspecting citizens just because they think it’s funny:
On Thursday, a man told police he was riding his bike south on the trail from Otis Street about 12:30 p.m. when a teen punched him in the face and knocked him off his bicycle. The teen said nothing and didn’t try to rob him.
This sounds like what’s known as “the knockout game” (which is also, as wikipedia helpfully informs me, called “polar-bear hunting” when referring to white victims). The game is played by finding an unsuspecting citizen and then beating them up, which doesn’t sound so much like “playing a game” as it sounds like “being a sociopath.”
In its continued ineptitude with respect to managing safety on the trail, the city hasn’t done anything of note to address such crime problems since I first wrote about the issue last summer.
I’ve got a few pieces of advice for anybody looking to use the ATT:
- Avoid the trail between Elmira Park and Otis Street. Almost every instance of assault or homicide is within a mile of this very specific area. I’ve never even seen a cop on this stretch (maybe they’re scared, too?), and from my perspective you’re better off fighting traffic than thugs.
- If you really feel like taking your life in your own hands and decide to ride through that area, for the love of god take a gopro with you (well concealed) so you can catch your attackers on camera.
- Citizens can’t legally take firearms on the trail without a concealed carry license, but there’s nothing that says you can’t take a bicycle lock, and I reckon the right lock might come in handy in a pinch. I swap out my U-lock for one of these guys whenever I have to head that way:
- Write to the city council and tell them to actually do something tangible about this shameful state of affairs.