Local News

16-year-old jogger attacked on Durham trail

Posted May 30, 2016

— Durham police are investigating after a teenager was assaulted Sunday on the Ellerbee Creek Trail.

According to the Durham Police Department, a 16-year-old was jogging when she was approached by a man at about 8 p.m. between the 500 block of Knox Street and Club Boulevard. Police said the man attempted to grab the woman and a struggle ensued.

Will Glenn with the Durham Police Department said other people on the trail noticed the struggle and assisted the teen.

The jogger sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the assault and was checked out at a local hospital for precautionary measure.

Investigators are searching for the suspect, who is described as black with a dark complexion and beard. He was wearing a green T-shirt with “Gucci” written on the front and blue jeans at the time of the assault.

Debra Billieux Hawwkins is president of a nearby neighborhood association and said she is concerned about the incident.

"I really want people to feel safe on our walkways and our trails and I want people who want to use alternative forms of transport to feel that they have an excellent, safe network for themselves and their families and their kids," she said.

Hawkins said she is concerned attacks on the trail are happening too frequently. Last year, two attacks were reported within a month of each other. In one of those attacks, a woman was choked and sexually assaulted.

“I’m hoping that the city is aware and trying to work out ways that we can address this,” Hawkins said.

Police are reminding people to be aware of their surroundings, remain in well-lit areas, always carry a cell phone and never walk while wearing earbuds.

Claudine Caro spends quite a bit of time walking the trail and said news of the attack has made her think twice about her routine.

“It makes me think of where I walk and the times in which I walk and who knows who I am,” she said. "During the evening hours, I do walk with a friend. If it's late and I'm by myself, I'll stay within my neighborhood and probably not venture off farther than that."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


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  • Norman Lewis May 31, 2016
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    How much does anyone want to bet the attacker had been arrested, charged, convicted and should have been in jail at the time of the attack for another crime he committed? Assault on a person should not be considered a crime eligible for a reduction of bail or time of incarceration if found guilty. Violating anyone's right to free movement and the absolute sanctity of their person due to an assault/robbery etc., should be dealt with on the strictest of terms.

  • Paul Donovan May 31, 2016
    user avatar

    If you are going to be on any of the trails in Durham make sure you are not alone at all times.

  • Paul Donovan May 31, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    What does that have to do with this story. Do you honestly think criminals register guns?

  • John Smith May 31, 2016
    user avatar

    The group that assisted the girl should have beat him within an inch of his life. Young lady, sorry you had to endure this. Shouldn't have to, but all females should run in packs or at minimum carry pepper spray, etc.

  • Shandy Scott May 31, 2016
    user avatar

    If one runs in Durham they better make darn sure they are fast, really fast.

  • Perry Masonjar May 30, 2016
    user avatar

    If anyone seriously thinks a government entty can protect you, then you will be the victim very soon. Other good things to do when running. Run with a partner, take a whistle, take pepper spray. Another example of the sex offender registry being a complete failure. Maybe if they were not chasing non-violent misdemeanors, they could put those police on the trail.

  • Mark Cline May 30, 2016
    user avatar

    There is no gun registration in Durham. Repealed in 2013. Records destroyed in 2014.

  • Norman Lewis May 30, 2016
    user avatar

    This sort of thing can't happen because the Durham officials have made us all safer by requiring gun registration in their area, right? Another shining example of the failure of laws that criminals cheerfully ignore and the ignorance of officials that think they can just print a law to make us safe. If that jogger had pulled a handgun and fired on the assailant, I will bet the likelihood of another attack anytime soon would be greatly reduced. To quote "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away".

  • Doug Bogard May 30, 2016
    user avatar

    Durhams crime trail is a disgrace.
    it has designated areas where crack heads gather. I rode my bicycle on it for a while. It is not a safe place. Not enough police and too many criminals.