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'It’s concerning': Running community responds to 2nd attack on Scioto Trail this summer

Another woman has reported an assault on the trail and the running community is now offering tips on how to keep the outdoor community safe.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Division of Police is investigating another reported attack on the Scioto Trail this summer. 

The report says the latest incident happened on Aug. 4 just a few yards from Bicentennial Park. 

According to the police report, the victim told police a man was following her on a walk near Milestone 229 when he grabbed her from behind. After yelling was exchange, the suspect left the area.

The first incident happened in May on the other side of the Scioto River.

So far police have not made an arrest in either case and have not determined if the cases are connected.

Chloe Palmer, who has been running the trails in Columbus for over 10 years, said the Scioto and Olentangy trails are probably the most important for local runners.

"It's really hard to hear that there have been attacks on the trails that I run everyday, especially as a woman who tends to run really early in the morning. It's definitely concerning,” Palmer said.

She said it's not scaring runners away from the trails but it's forcing them to take a lot more time and thought into their run.

Eric Fruth, the co-owner of The Columbus Running Company, his store occasionally offers self-defense classes for runners. 

“It is gut-wrenching to hear the stories of things that can happen when somebody's out on a path and these ran but still all too common occurrences,” Fruth said.

He encourages runners and walkers to stay in groups. If you are approached, he says to make noise and a yell a male’s name.

“The person coming towards you does not know that there's nobody there. All they hear is you yelling 'hey John, get over here' and suddenly they're outnumbered,” Fruth said.

Fruth says this can buy you the seconds you need to escape. He encourages you to run with some sort of pepper spray that’s easily accessible and to avoid running in the dark.

Palmer also recommends to wear jawbone headphones so you can hear your surroundings and avoid any potential future threats.

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