BEDFORD, Ind. – One week after a woman reported being attacked on a Bedford trail, dozens of people returned to the scene to show they won’t let fear get in their way. Residents say they wanted to send a clear message to the suspect.
“We’re going to take our trail back,” said resident Jenny Smith. “This is not going to happen to anybody else.”
The Saturday afternoon walk along the Milwaukee Trail used as a way to show strength in reaction to a frightening situation these residents learned about just days ago.
“I didn’t want people to get scared and abandon the trail,” said Hannah Jackson, another resident. “The more of us that are out there regularly, the more safe it will be for everybody.”
Jackson decided to organize an outing after police released details about a woman who reported being attacked by a masked gunman last Saturday at around 3 p.m. The victim told police the man tried to tie her up but she was able to run away and get help.
“It’s just scary to hear about and it happened on a place that I run a lot, a lot of us run a lot,” Jackson said.
Smith also shared her initial thoughts when she heard the news.
“It was first just surprise, my next reaction was anger and my last reaction – because it was on my friends that was attacked – was sadness,” Smith said.
So, runners and families gathered at the same trail, at the same time of the reported attack, this weekend.
“This is not the place to take advantage of somebody,” Smith said. “This is a place where people can take care of their health and have something to do with their family. And, we will ensure it will never happen again.”
While the suspect in the recent attack has not been identified, Bedford residents we talked to say they refuse to let the incident keep them from enjoying the trail.
“One guy can’t make or break this trail,” Smith said. “One guy didn’t make it so they’re not going to take it away from us either.”
People at the event also said there is now a fundraiser to get surveillance cameras for the trail.
If you know anything about the attack, call Bedford Police.