Keeping the Cedar Valley trails safe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Keeping the Cedar Valley trails safe


A Waterloo man now faces charges after police say he stabbed a woman at George Wyth State Park. Blake Houser faces charges of carrying weapons, willful injury and going armed with intent.

The stabbing happened on the Cedar Valley trail system in George Wyth State Park around 2:00 p.m. Monday afternoon. Paige King of Cedar Falls says she was jogging when a man on a bike with a knife stabbed her in the shoulder. Police say Houser admitted to the attack, claiming he was mad about an unrelated event and stabbed king as he rode past her.

Melody Nichols likes to walk on the trials every chance she gets where Samantha McElhinney prefers to run. Both have felt uneasy at times while running on the trials.

"Never in day time, but at night time it gets a little sketchy so I wouldn't run then," said McElhinney.

"Not really. Every once in a while I will, but then I take a step back and pay attention to my surroundings and then I'm usually fine," said Nichols.

Park Manager at George Wyth, Lori Eberhard said the woman who was attacked did everything right. She got away, called for help, and gave her location to the 9-1-1 operator by using the emergency signs posted throughout the trails.

"When you're out on the trails whether it's in the park, a long the roads, be aware of your surroundings. You never know what else is out there; a deer could in front of you, some one coming up on a bicycle behind you. If you can't hear then you're not paying attention it could startle you and cause an accident that way as well," said Eberhard.

Besides just being aware of your surroundings Eberhard says you should also carry a cell phone when you can.

"We just want everybody to come out enjoy the trails, be aware of your surroundings. It is an isolated incident. We really want people to know our trails are very safe place to be," said Eberhard.

Another very important step when you're out running is just to wear one earphone when listening to music. That way if anything or anyone is coming up behind you, you can hear it.

Park officials are not recommending people bring weapons to protect themselves when using the trails. They say bringing any kind of weapon will do more harm than good.

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