May 3, 2010

Another Iron Horse Trail attack involving a Walnut Creek student

These notices come in about middle and high school students being confronted by suspicious characters or robbed on the Iron Horse Trail in and around downtown Walnut Creek. ... And my immediate thought is: The Iron Horse Trail sounds like a dangerous place for my sixth grader to be walking. 

Here's news about the latest incident. Actually, it involved a Las Lomas High freshman who was robbed of his IPod and earphones while walking to school Friday morning along the trail near Safeway.  

Las Lomas High Principal Pat Lickiss alerted parents at his school that: 

Earlier [Friday], it was reported to our offices that a student had been approached while walking to school and jumped from behind by a man demanding his money. ... A student reported to his English teacher, that on his way to school this morning on the trail by Safeway a heavy set Hispanic man about 5 foot 7 inches with a black hood, bandana over his mouth, and wearing dark blue jeans jumped him from behind demanding his money. The man did get his earphones and IPod. The student said there were no injuries or weapons and he "used what he learned in PE class to get away." 

I realize that we all need to put these incidents into perspective and not leap into panic mode. We need to think of the statistics and probability. I'm sure that the vast majority of us--young and old--are safe while walking, running, or cycling along various stretches of the Iron Horse Trail at different times of day. I'm sure that this sort of incident isn't all that common--despite the fact that it receives attention from school officials and a blogger like me. 

With regard to the Iron Horse Trail, I've gone running along different parts of it early in the morning and at night, after dark. I'm not going to stop doing that because of reports of this kind of crime. I'm not afraid, though I'm always on alert and wary. 

On the other hand, I will let my son know.  Actually, he and his friends at WCI don't use the Iron Horse Trail much at all. It's just the thing he crosses every morning and afternoon while coming and going from school. 

Walnut Creek Intermediate School Principal Kevin Collins is letting parents know because "many WCI students use the trail to get to and from school, and we are asking for parents to again discuss personal safety with their children." 


Anonymous said...

Are there bike patrols during the morning and afternoon on school days? If nothing else, we should at least be able to do that.

It's too bad. We have these great trails, but if they are just places for crime, we can't use them. The trails under Bart used to be a great place for bike riding 30 years ago in El Cerrito, until crime took over. We should do something here now, and not just give them over to thugs.

Anonymous said...

Let's get a citizen patrol going. Just having more people on the trails will curtail most of this kind of thing.

Anonymous said...


You should NEVER be running alone at night, even in your own neighborhood. Being alert and wary is not enough protection in today's world. Your son needs his Mom so don't be too proud to run with a friend.

In this same vein....some of the posters on the previous blog were wondering why many of us are so concerned about the Police Department funding at adequate they need any more information in light of this latest incident?

Libraries, arts and recreation will not be enjoyed if we can't feel safe in our own town.

Medic Dave said...

"..some of the posters on the previous blog were wondering why many of us are so concerned about the Police Department funding at adequate levels.."
Hello? The police cannot protect you. The police have no duty to protect you. You have to protect yourself! Get some self-defense training. Legally obtain a firearm and get training how to use it. Take charge of your protection. Empower yourself to not be a victim. Remember, when seconds count the police are only minutes away.

Anonymous said...

people are so scared of everything these days.

one incident... what about all those times people are on the trail and nothing happens?

maybe it's the sensational news media. maybe it's because people stay at home and watch tv of facebook instead of going out anymore. i dont know, but back in my day people weren't scared of each other like this.

LeftCoast said...

The perp was probably an illegal who fled Arizona.

Anonymous said...

Today's Teabagger Award for the dumbest posting on this blog goes to .......

LeftCoast 7:39 AM

Affe said...

The downtown IHT sounds like a great place for the next open carry meetup !

LeftCoast said...


Anonymous said...

I once rode my bike on the trail from WC all the way to Buchanan Airport, in the middle of a weekday. I may have seen two or three others on the trail, but for long stretches, there was nobody in sight. The trail passes thru lots of sketchy areas, commercial, apartments, underpasses, etc. I found myself looking over my shoulder constantly, and worried about safety. That was a year ago, and I haven't been back.

Huston Meadows said...

Hi 9:46,

I agree that going north on the Iron Horse is not very inviting past a certain point. However, you might enjoy heading south more. You can go all the way to Pleasanton now. I did a 45 mile round trip to Dublin BART. You can stop at the Danville Lunardi's for supplies. The only section I found unpleasant was the tunnel-like section between Newell and Rudgear Road.

Anonymous said...

re: 9:46 AM

really, you find apartments to be scary? i dont even know what to say to that..

Anonymous said...

Well I certainly hope you luck holds up. I for one will not be setting foot back on any part of Iron Horse trail. I am a small woman and it is just not worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

I run and walk on the trail almost every night between Mt Diablo Blvd and Treat Blvd. Besides the "normal" homeless folks walking aimlessly, I have noticed a few disturbing incidents beyond what is reported in the news. One night, on my return walk back to home, I noticed a rope at ankle level that had been strung between the fence and a tree spanning the trail. It was dark and anyone on a bike or running could have been seriously injured and robbed. I also encountered a couple of 20 something punks that yelled racial slurs at me (I am white). I just kept running. This all in Walnut Creek at dark but not late (8pm), and near Civic Park. Just beware out there for threats and I would not recommend running/walking alone after dark, especially for women.