Local News

Park Safety Still A Concern, One Week After Rape

Posted October 13, 1998

— One week after a brutal attack at a popular Raleigh park, the crowds have returned, but not without concern.

People at Shelley Lake are still talking about last Monday night's rape. They're worried about it, and their anxiety is changing the way they use the park.

"I couldn't help but think about the situation last week and...feel sad about it," one visitor said.

"I try to get out here a little earlier," another woman said.

Women who used to walk or jog alone now go in pairs.

Experts say rapists look for women who are vulnerable. They say an attacker will be most likely to strike if "you're somewhere that's isolated, or that a person can isolate you, or if you're not aware of your surroundings where someone could surprise you."

"I did see the police patrolling yesterday but you have to wonder how long they'll keep that up," one woman said.

"They might do it for a while and get their presence around, and then it might trail off in a couple of weeks. It's good to know they're around, but how long is that going to last?"

Raleigh Police say they have stepped up patrols in all city parks after last week's attack.

In addition to the 14 full-time officers assigned to the parks, there are 300 other patrol officers checking out parks on a daily basis as part of their regular duty.

But with 156 parks in the city, it's tough to have officers in all of them at one time.

After the attack, police handed out composite sketches of the suspected rapist. The suspect has not been caught.

Reporter: Betsy Sykes


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