People Walk for Awareness at White Oak Rail Trail

Local - 6/21/2014 8:30 PM by Mike Bundt
Last weekend's alleged assault on the White Oak Rail Trail shook up the city of Oak Hill. On Saturday, locals gathered to raise safety awareness and to let the victim know that she has the communities support.

"It could've happened to anybody and we just need to make sure that number one, she knows that she has the support of everybody, the support of the towns and other areas because we definitely want to make sure this doesn't happen again" said Regina Mims.

Saturday marks a week since the brutal attack. Arrested was 47-year old Thomas Gene Carter Jr. of Oak Hill, charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery after authorities say he attacked the woman as she jogged.

With the alleged attack taking place last weekend, it's no surprise to locals that the city of oak hill came together so quickly at the rail trail.

"This is a great community. We do a lot of stuff together. We always pull together and respond to things like this" said Dana Treadway.

"The quicker you come together, the quicker the healing process. We're just trying to reach out to this lady that was affected by this, that the town is behind her, the community is behind her and hopefully she'll be able to move forward" said Diana Janney.

Future safety of people on the path was a big part of why the walk was organized.

"That's our top priority is to make this trail safe so everybody can walk it whether you be a child, an older person, young, male, female, we want everyone safe" said Mims.

Locals are still proud of the rail trail.

"We're going to stick together and keep using it. As a community, we're not going to let somebody take that away from us" said Treadway.

"We're very proud of the trail and we're here to represent that" said Janney.

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