The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is offering several safety tips for path and trail users after a female cyclist was inappropriately touched while riding on the Washington and Old Dominion trail in the area of the Loudoun County/Fairfax County line.
On Sunday, May 22, 2011 around 12:41 p.m., a 61-year-old Leesburg woman was riding with a friend on the W & OD trail when they stopped in the area of mile marker 22. During this time an unknown male walked up to the woman and grabbed her from behind. After the woman screamed, the suspect fled on foot.
The suspect, who was described as being Hispanic, was further described as having black hair and was wearing a brown shirt and black pants with white
stripes down the side. The victim followed the suspect for a short time before losing sight of him as he ran towards Old Ox Road from Earl Wallace Drive. The area was searched but no suspect matching this description was located.
In light of this incident the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office reminds residents to take the following steps to protect themselves when using paths and trails:
- Always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings (Don’t wear earphones).
- Walk, run or bike with a partner or group.
- Let someone know when you are on the trail, your route and when you expect to return.
- Walk, run or bike when the path or trail is likely to have a higher volume of foot traffic.
- Avoid using paths or trails when it is dark outside (Please note the W & OD trail is closed after dark for safety. Anyone on the trail after dark is considered to be trespassing).
- Carry a cell phone.
The Loudoun Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to contact the agency immediately if you see something or someone suspicious by calling 703-777-1021.