Police investigate 2016 trail attacks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police investigate 2016 trail attacks

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A beautiful weekend is in store across much of the state.

That means more people are using trails, and some area groups are reminding people to stay alert.

This comes less than a year after four attacks on Sergeant Trail in Waterloo.

The people responsible have not been caught.

Attacks happened on July 6, 12, 14 and 18 all near the end of Falls Avenue.

Runners are reminding people that trails can be dangerous, but they're sharing a few tips to keep you safe, like using mace.

"It burns, and it's really hard to keep your eyes open," Scott Gall of The Runner's Flat in Cedar Falls said.

Gall tested a can of runner's mace to see how it works to fend off attackers.

He said you should also be aware of your surroundings, leave your headphones at home, carry a cellphone, and run in groups.

"If you're going to go out, and you want to be on the bike trails, and hit places that might be more secluded, I would encourage people to really find someone to go with them," Gall said.

Even in the daylight, you can find yourself in dark secluded spots like passing under a bridge.

That's why running experts recommend a can of inexpensive running mace.

It's easy to use and sprays far, even in the wind.

"We feel much better about people carrying pepper spray and keep the distance from someone trying to cause harm," Gall said.

With no reported arrests in connection to the 2016 trail attacks, Gall said runners need to be reminded before hitting the trails this year.

"It happens. We love the Cedar Valley, and it's a great place to live, but no place is without issues anywhere," Gall said.

According to Captain Dave Mohlis with the Waterloo Police Department, the trail attacks are still open investigations.

If you have any information, please call police.

If you'd like to learn more about runner's mace or review some of the recent running group schedules, you can click here.

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