Local News

Jogger reports assault on Durham's American Tobacco Trail

Posted July 11, 2012

— Police arrested a man Tuesday night after a woman told police she was assaulted while jogging on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham.

Leon Edwards, 48, of Woodcroft Parkway in Durham, was charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery and jailed under a $3,000 bond.

The woman said she was on the trail around 8:15 p.m. when a man matching Edwards' description approached her and asked her several times for her phone number.

About 10 minutes after she refused, she said she was jogging on the trail near the 5600 block of Fayetteville Road when the man jumped out from the bushes and grabbed her from behind, police said.

She was able to escape and find a police officer.

Investigators found Edwards a short time later behind a Circle K on Woodcroft Parkway.

In general, police urge people not to go out at night alone and to stay in well-lit, familiar areas.

Report any suspicious activity to police, and, when out walking or jogging, get away as fast as possible to a safe location, if approached, police say.

Personal alarms, they say, can help deter potential attackers.


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  • bombayrunner Jul 11, 2012

    the laws did recently change where you can carry (CCW) in Federal parks ... but, I think you still can not carry in State Parks ... right?

  • US VET Jul 11, 2012

    Can anyone expect to participate in an outdoor activity in durham without being a victim???

  • ims1924 Jul 11, 2012

    Poor Leon. Society made him do this.

  • Obama our Savior Jul 11, 2012

    Oh Leon, what have you done?

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 11, 2012

    Not saying this is her fault, but when will women learn that it's just not safe to jog alone, especially in early morning or late evening hours?

    Even in daylight hours - carry an aerosol air horn and a bottle of Mace at the very least. They aren't heavy, nor do they take up much room.

    Think safety!!!

  • pedsRN Jul 11, 2012

    I stopped walking on the American Tobacco Trail last year after the flasher reports. I would start walking it near that Circle K that he was arrested behind.

  • Spock Jul 11, 2012

    Shoot to kill.

  • clintoflannagan Jul 11, 2012

    I jog on a greenway in Raleigh frequently. I am always amazed at the number of walkers/joggers that I encounter who are listening to ipods or other music devices. Sometimes the music is so loud I can hear it as I run up behind them. I always say "on your left - - on your left" as I approach them but many times they do not hear me. The first time they know I am there is when I run up beside them and startle them.

    Anyone could easily run up behind them and hit them or tackle them because they can't hear them coming from behind.

    The article doesn't say whether this woman was listening to music or not but I'd be willing to bet she was.

    I will never understand why people intentionally deprive themselves of the one sense that humans possess that can alert them to a danger that is approaching from behind.

  • Comfortably Numb Jul 11, 2012

    So rape, mugging, beating, that's allowed on this trail??? Protect yourself ladies... G U N

  • epee131 Jul 11, 2012

    ATT is a federally funded site. CCW is allowed. You can carry with a permit on a federal park just not in a federal building. So you can carry at Hateras but not in the light house or ranger station.