Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez had an interesting take recently on the problems with assaults and intimidating incidents on the American Tobacco Trail in the Bull City. Said he: When its starting to get dark its not a time to be on any trail in the United States. That is a disappointing statement, both because it exaggerates the risk of using many trails in this country and because it sounds like an excuse. And not a good one.
After another incident Wednesday night, when a woman was assaulted but the attacker was scared away by a bicyclist, its time for Lopez and Durham officials to fix this problem, period. Yes, police patrols have been increased. And perhaps the trail cant be made perfectly safe. But there have been too many incidents, which are giving the trail a bad image and Durham a black eye.
Despite his departments stepped-up enforcement measures, Lopez didnt help matters by in effect suggesting that people should just avoid the trail at dusk. The chief surely doesnt think there is a point at which the community should surrender to thugs.