Five ways to stay safe on bike paths

Teen tried to abduct woman on Urbana bike trail

Authorities received a 9-1-1 call from the victim shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Capt. David Rapp, of the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office. The victim provided a description of the teen, who was taken into custody a short time later, he added.

The woman told police she was jogging south along the bike path just south of Ohio 55 when she saw the teen sitting along the side of the bike path. She turned around and headed north, but told authorities the teen followed her.

“She had that strange vibe not to continue and not to run past this individual,” Rapp said.

The woman ran but the suspect eventually caught up to her, grabbed her around the chest and tried to pull her off to the west side of the bike path, Rapp said. When the woman screamed, the suspect let her go and she was able to run away and call 9-1-1, according to the report.

The woman met with authorities in a parking lot near Ohio 55, where she provided a description. Both Champaign County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Urbana Police Division officers responded to the scene and found the suspect a short time later.

The teen admitted to chasing the victim, but told authorities he was only trying to scare the woman, Rapp said.

The suspect chased the woman for about a half-mile, Rapp estimated.

If possible, joggers should make sure to carry a cell phone or jog with a friend, but Rapp said the incident was unusual.

“This is way out of the norm,” Rapp said. “The bike path is safe. We don’t want to dissuade people. We were there within seconds.”

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