After a woman reported last month that she was harassed by a group of juveniles on a walking trail near Prairie Park Fishery, police say they have arrested four juvenile males.
The boys, ages 12, 13, and 14, were arrested for harassment, the police department said, adding their identities are being withheld due to juvenile confidentiality laws.
The woman, April Mead, 46, told The Gazette that she had set out for a walk on the trail at about 5:15 p.m. that day. About halfway through her walk, she said she crossed paths with four young males — two on bicycles and two on foot — who began harassing her.
Mead told The Gazette that the boys played a “cat and mouse game” with her. They’d follow her, then race ahead of her, then come back and follow her some more, all while calling her names and yelling “stupid things” at her, she said.
At some point, she said the harassment escalated and the boys began threatening to sexually assault her. Fearing for her safety, Mead waited until the boys got far enough ahead of her and then hid and called the police.
The police department confirmed Mead’s account, telling The Gazette in October that they were looking into the incident.
Though winter weather has descended, and fewer people are making use of the local trail system, the police department said walkers, runners and cyclists should continue to take precautions when enjoying outdoor activities, and offered the following tips:
• When wearing headphones, keep the volume low and be extra cautious
• Keep track of where you are
• Carry identification and contact information
• Carry a cellphone to report emergencies
• Bicycles should have front and rear lights at dusk or later
• Walkers should carry a lit flashlight at dusk or later
• Report suspicious activities and material to authorities
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