Chillicothe Teens Recovering After Attack On Bike Path


UPDATED: Wednesday July 3, 2013 6:34 PM

Two teens were recovering after an attack on a Ross County bike path.

Sheriff's investigators are searching for two suspects who they say randomly attacked the boys in an act of alleged gang violence.

It happened on the flood wall of the bike path near the intersection of Pine Street and Tiffin Avenue, just outside Chillicothe.

Two boys, ages 16 and 17, were walking on the path when they said they were attacked at random.

A source close to the investigation told 10TV that detectives believe it was part of a "knock out game" which is an initiation into a gang now active in the Chillicothe area.

The mother of one of the boys said her son and his friend decided to start an exercise program and use the bike path to walk and jog.

The woman said the suspects brutally beat her son, breaking his jaw and leaving him hospitalized for three days.

While he recovers, the word of the attack is travelling along the route.

"It's a little scary. It doesn't scare me so much, but my wife and children use this to walk and ride and run a little bit, so yeah that concerns me," said Jeff Benson.

"You know, two women alone out here by ourselves, so now we need to be more aware of what's going on, aware of our surroundings, and we probably will carry mace from now on -- and that's sad," Michon Ekvall said.

Just as concerning as the attack itself, the alleged ties to a nationwide gang noted for violent crime has rattled this small Ohio town.

"And you don't want that for your kids. You want them to grow up in a safe environment and just get to enjoy all that we've gotten to enjoy without being afraid and leaving your doors unlocked. But evidently, we've come to an age where we can't do that any longer," Ekvall said.

The small town is dealing with big city problems, and two violent suspects still on the run.

Investigators believe the attack was recorded on cell phone video.

The Ross County Sheriff's Office has identified two suspects, but have not filed any charges.

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