Runner attacked in wooded area near Overton Park - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Runner attacked in wooded area near Overton Park

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Security in Overton Park biking through wooded areas. Security in Overton Park biking through wooded areas.

(WMC-TV) - Memphis police are asking people to remain vigilant near Overton Park after a runner was recently attacked.

Investigators said, when the runner was attacked in a wooded area Sunday, his phone was stolen. Both suspects were able to get away.

Police stated there have been at least three robberies in the area so far this fall. In response to these incidents, they have ramped up patrols.

"As I was running through the woods today, there was a police car riding inside the area where cars can't get into,"described runner Sam Warren.

The victim of Sunday's incident told police two suspects knocked him to the ground, punched him repeatedly, and took his phone.

There have been eight robberies in the area, according to police.

While Overton Park runners feel safe, they do take precautions.

"I, of course, have two dogs with me. So, my level of safety has probably increased," said Sue Clark Walker.

Just a few blocks West of Overton Park in the Vollintine Evergreen area, three more people were robbed. Police have two 14-year-olds in custody.

Officials confirmed one of the 14-year-olds is a suspect in all three of the Evergreen Vollintine robberies.

One robbery happened on the Greenline where her backpack and phone were taken.

The witness told police she was hit in the face with what appeared to be a gun.

In a robbery a street over, a woman pushing her baby in a stroller said someone put a gun to her head, and demanded her phone.

If you see anyone suspicious while you are walking or jogging, you are asked to call police at 901-545-COPS.

Local experts at Breakaway Running sent Action News 5 this advice to runners and anyone who uses trails in Memphis:

1. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.

2. Trust your instincts. Run away from situations and people that "don't feel right."

3. Don't wear headphones.

4. Run facing traffic when on the street.

5. Alter your routes.

6. Run with others when possible.

7. Carry pepper spray or mace.

8. Let someone know your route / estimated time to return.

9. Learn self-defense.

10. Be seen. Wear reflective gear at night.

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