Stranger grabs woman on Columbus bike trail - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Stranger grabs woman on Columbus bike trail


A Columbus State University student was running on the Fall Line Trace just after 8 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 4, when she encountered a man who couldn't keep his hands to himself.  We're withholding the identity of the 25-year-old woman, but she described the situation over the phone. 

As she was running near the Armour Ave. crossing, she said a man riding a bicycle in the opposite direction blew her a kiss.  She ignored him, but then he turned around, snuck up on her from behind, and grabbed her buttocks as he rode by again. She said the man added as he passed by that she "was asking for it." 

She had her cell phone with her and immediately called police.

People we found walking the trail on Friday, Aug. 8 said they usually consider it a pretty safe place to exercise.

"During the daytime," says David Patterson, a frequenter of Fall Line Trace. "We don't really come out here at night, but we come out at all times of the day and it's pretty safe.  It's a great place to come out and run where you don't have to worry about traffic.  It's shaded, so when it's summer time or really hot outside, you can run in the evening when it's a little cooler."

Part of the trail runs past Columbus State University, and while it's not technically their jurisdiction, they have recently revived their bicycle squad now that students are back in school. The added mobility makes it easier to patrol places that are not easily accessible by car.

"Most times when I come out here, I do see the police riding up and down on their four-wheelers and bikes and stuff.  I feel pretty safe when I'm out here," says Chris Black who also visits the trail often.

There is usually a steady flow of people on the trail during normal hours. Officials advise to be prepared in the event you find yourself alone.

Officer Christina Hester of the Columbus State Police says, "Be aware of your surroundings.  Make sure you know what's around you, who's around you, and be prepared to contact police if you have any questions."

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