Safety tips while out on the bike trails after attempted kidnapping

Safety tips while out on the bike trails after attempted kidnapping
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Some runners in Sioux Falls are concerned after hearing about a recent kidnapping attempt on the bike trails. Hundreds of people use them daily. Here’s a look at what you can do to keep yourself safe.

Brenda Girouard is a runner. As well as a family friend to the 18-year-old involved in the attempted kidnapping. We’re not using the woman’s name to preserve her privacy.

“Shocked and sad for the girl it happened to. And also angry, angry that it happened in our city, on our bike trails that everyone loves,” said Girouard.

Because of incidents like this Girouard tries to avoid running on the bike trails. She also carries a safe run siren with her while she runs.

“I also had another friend that was attacked last year, after she was attacked last year near Roosevelt I went out and got alarms that I can use,” said Girouard.

If you do find yourself in a similar, scary situation what should you do?

“If he tries to grab you, yell, make a lot of noise, fight back. And that’s exactly what she did and that’s one of the reasons she was able to get away from him,” said Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

While this attempted kidnapping is concerning, Officer Clemens says it is uncommon.

“We rarely hear of any crimes that happen in the parks system. We have park officers that are assigned to the parks and they travel the bike trails, they are the ones people see on the motorcycles, just patrolling the parks and making sure there are no problems and that it’s safe for everybody,” said Officer Clemens.

There are also some safety measures people can take, such as having a buddy with you.

“Safety in numbers,” said Officer Clemens.

Also, “Pay attention to your surroundings and if you see some things out of the ordinary deviate from your plan. Just because you take the same route all the time doesn’t mean that you can’t take a different route and maybe find some other people or get to a more populated area,” said Officer Clemens.

Girouard is also a part of a Facebook group called “Sioux Falls Women Run.” It’s a supportive place to share running tips and find women to run with.

She says the group has reached out to the teen and has people that can run with her when she feels comfortable getting back on the trails.

You can find a link to the group here: Sioux Falls Women Run

Copyright 2021 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.