Speak Out: Does Path Crime Worry You?

Police report four robberies and assaults on Reston paths since June 1. Will you change your habits?

Fairfax County Police said on Friday they are investigating four robbery and assault incidents that took place on Reston Association bike paths in the last two weeks.

Two of the assaults were near Hunters Woods. One was near Pinecrest Road. The third was near North Shore in the Lake Anne area.

In January, a woman jogger reported being sexually assaulted on the W & OD trail in Reston.

Reston has about 55 miles of trails that are used daily by residents for walking, biking, or from getting to place to place.

Most people use the trails without incident, and, police have said in the past that reported crimes often go up in the spring.

So tell us: How do the recent incidents make you feel? Will it change your bike path habits? Do you always take safety precautions (ie, walk with others, don't take paths at night)? Have you ever been a victim of crime on the bike path?

Put your thoughts in the comments below.


DGeorge June 17, 2013 at 06:38 PM
If your going to walk alone, keep your head up high.
John Doe June 17, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Zoya S, why is jogging with a gun a bad idea? I jog all the time with the gun (I have a concealed permit) and a cell phone. What's the problem with protecting yourself by carrying a gun? Guns are safely used more than 2,000,000 time per year to stop a crime.
Kay Walter June 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Yes, I am concerned about safety on the trails. I would go only during broad daylight and only where I am not in a secluded spot. I have been nearly run down by bikes. I've never been accosted by a mugger or thief, and I don't want to be. I think we need police or some security people on bikes or segways. The idea that we sould carry guns in wrong. I never carried a gun and don't think I should have to. More guns are not the solution.
Kelley Westenhoff June 20, 2013 at 08:26 AM
Although I'm not speaking for them, I was at a recent meeting for something else where a couple of officers were present -- Yes, the police at Reston station are well aware and are patrolling -- at various tim es and not always in uniform. This concerns them as well and they are on it. I personally would rather know they're spending their time out there trying to make the paths safer than in the office answering letters and e-mails. Police tend to say nothing until they have something to say like, "we got 'em."
Jake June 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM
I've lived in Reston for the past 17 years and I'm not the least bit surprised. The Hunters Woods path's have always been a typical spot for young kids with nothing to do to hang around and harassing people, as well as thievery. What I don't understand is, I KNOW exactly where they all hang out all the time because I see them all congregating in the same spots every day, yet I never see police camping around there. The most I've seen as far as police presence is in the actual parking lot of Safeway (within Hunter's Woods plaza). I know police presence cannot be there 24/7, which is why I'm 100% behind the volunteer patrolling of ALL path's.
John Smith June 20, 2013 at 05:18 PM
A comment that I left here a couple of days ago about having received a reply from the FFX police to a note I'd sent them regarding the assaults has vanished. I have no idea why it would have been removed. I don't think it was offensive in any way. Odd, to say the least.
Karen Goff June 20, 2013 at 05:20 PM
John - Nothing has been removed. Apparently we are still having software trouble since migrating all the content over to the new site. Should be fixed shortly.
quan June 21, 2013 at 01:42 PM
To Karen Goff: Since this article is very important to Reston residents and concerned path users , can the article be permanately placed on front page so all who log in can chime in daily instead of having to search the news archives?
Karen Goff June 21, 2013 at 01:47 PM
No, sorry. Things have to move down the page chronologically as news happens. HOPEFULLY, the software engineers will bring back the comments box though so people can see what others are talking about and join right in.
taffy/toby July 03, 2013 at 09:21 AM
will not go on Reston's path..Haven't heard a thing if anyone has been caught.. the idea that women pushing baby strollers were assaulted and others injured to rob..makes one concerned.sad
Karen Goff July 03, 2013 at 10:45 AM
I don't think there have been any reports of anyone with a stroller assaulted.
taffy/toby July 03, 2013 at 11:03 AM
i know i'm correct on this..maybe someone can comment
Kathy July 03, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I posted to this article and my comments have been removed. I wonder why. Two little boys were raped on the path the first year we moved to Reston. Could have been 1984. Kathy Kaplan
Karen Goff July 03, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Kathy. Your comments have not been removed. That said, I don't know that incidents from nearly 30 years ago are helpful.
Karen Goff July 03, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Also. An update. Police said last week they have not arrested anyone.
Kathy July 03, 2013 at 12:21 PM
A few years ago, I met an RA staff member on the path. She told me she had been attacked twice on RA paths, once by a dog and once by a man. She used pepper spray on both. Karen, I suppose you don't think that's useful, either. I don't go on the paths alone. It's not safe. There are more registered sex offenders here now than there were 30 years ago. Kathy Kaplan
taffy/toby July 03, 2013 at 01:05 PM
also wondered about the woman that was getting off the bus and was abducted by 2 men and put in a van sexually asserted and then let go..i believe it happened in the dogwood area about 6 mos. ago
AileenPaul July 08, 2013 at 01:13 PM
@Josephine Koerner I was following this incident because I know someone that knows the victim. The word I got later on from the person who knows her was that the story was false. It never happened and I think she spent some days in jail for making it up. It would be much better to have an official update to this story to confirm any hearsay.
taffy/toby July 08, 2013 at 02:23 PM
thank you aileen for updating this story...wonder why local news didn't report it.
Karen Goff July 08, 2013 at 02:27 PM
I will check it out. But I can't report "I know someone who knows the victim," so if police can tell me anything, I will report it.
Karen Goff July 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Police say yes, that was a false report. Story has been updated here - http://reston.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/police-sexual-assault-at-laurel-glade-apts
AileenPaul July 08, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Thank you for the official news update, Karen Goff. Certainly agree it can't be reported as hearsay.
Melissa Gildea August 15, 2013 at 08:28 AM
Although I agree that low income housing is not the problem, low income housing management might be. I've lived in far worse areas with less crime. The reason why is that if someone was even suspected of illicit activity in the apartments I lived in they lost their place in the housing. I live very close to Hunter Woods and can say that there is a noticeable uptick of uncomfortable occurrences on our Cluster property that is bleeding in from adjacent apartments (too many to explain). Concerning lighting, I use the trails at all hours, usually walking with dogs, and I've noticed a good deal of lingering in the woods because the underbrush is so dense, but you can see the light on the lingerers phones! If there is nobody to hear you, what difference does lighting make? People are robbed in broad daylight. It is misleading to say it would help although it might make people feel more safe. Lastly, I've called Reston Police on one occasion to help along the trails. There are no markers, and they got lost. What is needed is a comprehensive way to mark the trails for police response.
Melissa Gildea August 15, 2013 at 08:33 AM
Also, given the amount of beer bottles each morning indicating lingering, Police might want to add the wooded areas of South Lakes Drive Park to their regular patrols, but they will have to walk through the park.
PetElf August 15, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Definitely makes me a little nervous, but I will continue to walk the paths daily. I own a dog walking business, and we are on the paths daily with our charges. Granted, we feel a little safer with a dog, but most of them are sweethearts and not exactly protection. I am always very alert on the paths, don't use an ipod, and just try to be aware of my surroundings. I don't like going through some of the tunnels though. The worst is when young men are congregating on a bridge and I have to walk through.
taffy/toby August 16, 2013 at 12:20 PM
always carry a cell phone....a whistle carried on a key chain can't hurt...all of these suggestions are not meant to scare however truthfully.. a lot of people are..
Aubrey Stokes August 19, 2013 at 02:28 PM
I live on the trail and what you see on the police reports is just a very small example of the crimes.
Dick Sziede August 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM
I posted a comment. Where did it go?
John Smith August 21, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Citizens on Patrol (COPs): http://www.nacop.org/ . I've seen communities where this has been done, and it really helps. Not a substitute for real police, but way better than nothing, which seems to be the approach we're taking here in Reston.
Geekgirl August 23, 2013 at 03:10 PM
I do not ever walk on the paths behind Hunter Woods shopping center or Lake Anne. I walk only in certain areas, during the day, and when alone I carry MACE. I think it is going to get worse near the Silver Line Metro (around Lake Throeau) and we should speak to the police department about patrolling the paths with bike police?? When I was 16 (along time ago), my guy friend and I were chased by 3 men on the paths walking back from a South Lakes football game. Luckily we got away, so I never walk at night....even with someone.


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