6/16/2014 6:00 PM
by Mike Bundt
Since it's inception, the rail trail has been something Oak Hill residents could be proud of. That all changed Saturday when an alleged sexual assault happened in the light of day. Now residents are forced to ask themselves if the pathway is still safe.
"I'd feel safe walking it because i know it's very publicized and there's people around so i guess I feel safe" said Sabrina Prater.
"It's the fear factor that well jeez, I better not allow my daughter to go to that walk and do that walk trail because their might be someone lurking" said Dianna Eggerichs.
Despite Saturday evening's alleged sexual assault, Oak Hill officials insist that the bike path is still safe and encourage people to keep using it.
"The rail trail is very positive. Get out there and utilize it. It's a great form of recreation for all ages and this is still our rail trail" said Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass.
"The more people that utilize the trail and get out there on the trail, you know, the more eyes that are out there, the more people you talk to and being around others that are enjoying the trail just makes it safer" said Chief Whisman.
Saturday's incident is something new to the rail trail.
"We have not had one serious issue until this weekend" said Hannabass.
Chief Whisman responds to critics pointing out the lack of enforcement on the rail trail.
"We can't do it. We can't be out there 24/7. It's not feasible for us to man that and we do try to get out there as often as possible" said Whisman.