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City leaders urging caution along Tobacco Trail

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TWC News: City leaders urging caution along Tobacco Trail
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DURHAM--On any given day, the American Tobacco Trail has plenty of joggers, bikers and pets.

"It's different than walking through the neighborhood. It's nice to come get a different setting and he gets to sniff new smells and explore new things," said Durham resident Chancie Housholder.

But six reported assaults in the last three months have people on alert.

"I only feel safe during daylight. Otherwise at nighttime I do not go on this trail at all," said Durham resident Krystle Acevedo.

"I was told to avoid going further north," said Housholder.

And also has the attention of city officials.

"One city council member brought up looking at a possible solution to limit loitering on the trail," said Durham Public Affairs Director Beverly B. Thompson.

The City Council and city attorney had discussions about what security measures can be taken. Thompson said the answer isn't simple.

"We have to be really cognizant that we don't violate anyone's rights. Certainly people have the right of assembly and if you look at narrowing those you could be going places you don't want to go," said Thompson.

The most recent incident happened when police say a man jogging claims he was assaulted by a group of teenage boys. Some joggers said adding cameras or lights would be a good start.

"In between Woodcroft and where Kroger is there really is no lighting. I've seen runners out here at night. People on bicycles here at night. And that might help prevent what's been going on on this trail," said Acevedo.

This is a trail the city would like to keep safe at all hours of the day.

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