Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail

About the recent attacks on the Trail

Update of November 27, 2012

Montgomery County Police Acting Chief, Antonio DeVaul, was our special guest at our November Board Meeting to discuss the recent attacks on the trail, and to report on increased police activities to keep the trail safe. Police patrols have been stepped up, but the police still need help to identify the suspect of the sexual assault. A sketch and reward announcement is presented in this press release.

Update of October 28, 2012

We were disturbed this summer by reports of crime on the Trail - a sexual assualt of a jogger near Flecther's Cove this spring, followed by three strong arm robberies in July in the Bethesda Tunnel. Now we have two more reported attacks - a sexual assualt near CCT milepost 5.5 on Oct. 21 and a kniffing near the Bethesda Trailhead on Oct. 26. See the Police Report Police investigate sexual assault in Bethesda and the Bethesda Patch report Scuffle leads to stabbing on Capital Crescent Trail if you want more information on the two most recent incidents.

It is somewhat reassuring to know that the three robberies in the Bethesda Tunnel and the knife attack at the trailhead resulted in arrests, and in these cases the victims knew their assailants so these do not appear to be random crimes. It is also reassuring to know the police response was very strong for all of the crimes, and the Park Police are increasing their surveilance on the trail, reported in the Bethesda Patch at Park Police step up patrols following Capital Crescent Trail assault. But the two most serious crimes reported this year, the two sexual assaults, were random crimes and remain unsolved.

The increased police patrols are most welcome but cannot reasonably be relied upon for complete safety. The recent attacks reinforce the importance of trail users taking a few simple precautions, as described in the following statement we issued earlier this year:

July 27, 2012

From The Chair:

The Coalition Board has been both saddened and disturbed by the news of several recent attacks on trail users.  Although any crime committed against trail users is reason for concern, the trail remains remarkably safe.  Consider that as many as 20,000+ people use parts of the trail each week, and yet we seldom hear of crimes against users of the trail.  Crime does happen though, and all users of the trail must be careful not to lower their guard.  We urge all users to take reasonable precautions.  It's best that no one use the trail alone after dusk.  There is always safety in numbers.  And at all times of the day or night everyone must remain aware of their surroundings, especially in isolated areas.  Forget the earphones and leave your ears open; take a look behind you now and then; look around, you should never be surprised by the presence of other people on the trail.  Most importantly though, if you must use the trail after dark, please do so with a friend or companion.  Don't give the trouble makers the opportunity they're looking for.

Let's all be safe on The Capital Crescent Trail.

Ron Tripp
for the CCCT

Safety is NO ACCIDENT - Courtesy is Contagious