DURHAM: 3 assaults reported on American Tobacco Trail in 5 days - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Assaults on American Tobacco Trail raise new concerns

Posted: Updated:
American Tobacco Trail American Tobacco Trail
DURHAM, N.C. -

Three more assaults along the American Tobacco Trail have raised new concerns about safety on the trail.

The Durham Police Department has received reports of assaults on the American Tobacco Trail near Fayetteville and Pilot streets on June 5, 6 and 9.

During the latest assault, which occurred Monday around 1 p.m., a woman called police when she witnessed five teens blocking the trail and attempting to assault a bicyclist. The cyclist, however, was able to get away from the teens.

On Friday, officers were dispatched to the area near Pilot Street around 8 p.m. in response to an assault and robbery. Police say male and female victims were walking along the trail when four teens approached them and asked to use the man's cellphone. When the man told the teen "no," the suspects punched the man in his face several times before stealing the phone and an iPod.

And on June 5, a man told officers he was riding his bike when a teen punched him in the face around 12:30 p.m. between Otis and Fayetteville street. The teen did not say anything to the man and did not steal anything from him. The man said that the teen was walking with three other people, but they did not participate in the assault.

"It's ridiculous. You've really got to be safe wherever you go, but at the same time it just made me feel like I need to protect myself more," said Amber Buford, who lives in Durham and uses the trail. "I try not to go at the same times because I don’t want anybody to know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it."

There were 14 reported assault along the trail in 2012 and six more in 2013. Following the assaults, Durham police stepped up patrols in the area, but said they had to pull back and reassess.

"In 2012 we had an increase in incidents along the American Tobacco Trail and we had done patrols all the way up until that point, however we really had to take a step back and see what else we could do better," said Cpt. Patrice Andrews with the Durham Police.

  • Click Here for a list of assaults between Jan 1, 2012 and Sept. 14, 2013

Last month, officers patrolled the trail 143 times. And in November, an emergency call box was installed near Otis Street.

The call box has been used 13 times since its installation, but the city said there are no plans to add other boxes along the trail.

The city said there is a camera at the head of the trail and there are plans to add four more along the trail between Enterprise Street and Morehead Avenue. The city and Blackwell Management Company have just finalized an agreement for the placement of the cameras and the agreement is currently being routed for execution.

Anyone with information about the assaults is asked to contact Investigator J. Locklear at (919) 560-4415, ext. 29309 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

  • Goodlatte expects quick action from Congress responding to ISIS

    Goodlatte expects quick action from Congress responding to ISIS

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 4:48 AM EDT2014-09-17 08:48:34 GMT
    Rep. Bob Goodlatte at today's announcement.Rep. Bob Goodlatte at today's announcement.
    As Congress continues to decide how to respond to ISIS, Representative Bob Goodlatte said it's important President Obama comes to Congress before acting.
    As Congress continues to decide how to respond to ISIS, Representative Bob Goodlatte said it's important President Obama comes to Congress before acting.
  • What's News Today, Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    What's News Today

    Here's a look at some of the stories we'll be following today as they make headlines across the country and Southwest Virginia.

    Here's a look at some of the stories we'll be following today as they make headlines across the country and Southwest Virginia.

  • Cab driver records multiple verbal threats from airport police officer

    Cab driver records multiple verbal threats from airport police officer

    Cab driver records multiple verbal threats from airport police officer

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 12:53 AM EDT2014-09-17 04:53:54 GMT
    Geoff Campbell now sits in Sam's Club parking lot waiting for flights after alleged verbal threats.Geoff Campbell now sits in Sam's Club parking lot waiting for flights after alleged verbal threats.
    ROANOKE (WSLS) -What started out as trying to get their fair share of business from travelers at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has now turned personal for B. Early Cab Company after employees there say they were threatened by airport police .''You're a lousy cab driver and a total piece of ****. “That's just the beginning of a series of degrading remarks made on the recording that cab driver Geoff Campbell says he secretly recorded on his iPhone.“You're a total piece of **** and a p...
    ROANOKE (WSLS) -What started out as trying to get their fair share of business from travelers at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has now turned personal for B. Early Cab Company after employees there say they were threatened by airport police .''You're a lousy cab driver and a total piece of ****. “That's just the beginning of a series of degrading remarks made on the recording that cab driver Geoff Campbell says he secretly recorded on his iPhone.“You're a total piece of **** and a p...
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.