It's Trail Season - Be Careful Out There
Recent incidents have Fairfax County Police reminding residents of trail and patch safety.
After an incident on the trails in Reston earlier this month and several incidents on Fairfax County bike trails last weekend, Fairfax County Police are issuing their annual advice to be safe and aware out there.
A woman told police a man walked up behind her and grabbed her bottom in the 11400 block of Waterview Cluster on April 1 at 6:30 p.m. The man fled in the opposite direction and has not been found or charged.
Police said a woman reported she was grabbed by a man on a wooded trail near Danbury Forest Drive in Springfield on Saturday. The woman yelled and fled.
The man was described as Hispanic, between 5’6” -5’9” feet tall and around 150-170 pounds. He was professionally attired in a white, buttoned shirt and a dark vest, black slacks and black shoes.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, a man whistled at a jogger in an area near Sully Park and Truitt Farm Drive. When she looked over, he was exposing himself and masturbating.
This incident may be another in a series of similar incidents in the Sully Police District in recent months. The woman yelled and saw him run down a paved path. She described him as olive-skinned with a protruding gut, green shirt and blue jeans. He was between 5’3” – 5’7” feet tall.
Police say that Fairfax County has among the lowest number of violent crimes in the country, but many outdoor crimes include indecent exposures, drug and narcotic offenses, trespassing, destruction of property and assault offenses.
The police have safety in mind and officers proactively patrol the county’s trails, roads and pathways every day, searching for suspicious activity. They are out on foot, in their police cars or riding bicycles through neighborhoods, local parks or shopping centers. Crime Prevention Officers also play a vital role by meeting with residents, merchants and shoppers; they share helpful personal safety tips and crime deterrence information.
Police want to remind residents of these outdoor safety tips:
- Try not to go out alone; if you do, make sure someone knows where you will be and when you expect to return.
- If possible, avoid using trails after dark.
- Do not use headphones at a high volume; make sure you can hear what’s going on around you.
- Always look ahead and see what or who is around you. (Also if exercising, watch out for potholes, gates and other trail users and obey traffic signals.)
- Call 9-1-1 if you feel you are in imminent danger.
- Carry your cell phone with you at all times and pre-program 9-1-1 into your phone.*
- Call the non-emergency number if you see any suspicious activity.*
- Suspicious activity is any person, noise, car or event that doesn’t feel right to you.
- The non-emergency number in Fairfax County is: 703-691-2131. It might be beneficial to pre-program your local police department’s non-emergency number into your phone.
- Always lock your car doors and if driving to a trail or park, leave your valuables at home! If you do bring them, lock them in the trunk but beware of someone watching you do this.
- Valuables commonly stolen from parked vehicles include GPS units, laptop computers, blue tooth devices, CDs, purses/wallets.
- Remove any empty bags or briefcases from your vehicle to allay criminals’ curiosities.
- Clean the GPS suction cup circle from your windshield.
*Do not hesitate to call the police. If you see something suspicious or are the victim of a crime (even if you are not hurt), the sooner you call the police, the more likely police can locate a suspect, individual or vehicle.