Hike-and-bike trail runner attacked

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A woman was attacked while running on a hike-and-bike trail near Interstate 35 on Monday morning.  Her suspected attacker, a 20-year-old man, was taken into custody later that day.

Austin Police Department and UTPD did not comment on whether the two people involved were UT students.

UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey said the area in which the incident occurred does not have a history of criminal activity. 

Though the incident did not occur on campus, students often exercise and workout around Austin. UTPD Officer Layne Brewster said because of this, students should always be aware of their surroundings while running and try to avoid running after dark. 

Runners who listen to music are advised to do so with one earbud in and listen for people coming up behind them. 

“I know it may be inconvenient, but they need to run with a cell phone on them in case they need to call 911,” Brewster said. 

Brewster also said if students feel uncomfortable or feel they are being followed, they should turn around, cross the street, move to an area where they feel safe and, if necessary, call 911.

Biomedical engineering and art history senior Jen Nordhauser runs in a public track near her apartment complex. Typically, she runs at 6 a.m. while there are other people on the track. 

“The only time I’ve felt uncomfortable is when there were guys sitting at the track on the picnic tables, but the fact that there were other runners running around, I felt safer,” Nordhauser said.

Nordhauser has lived in Austin her entire life, and said she’s heard of incidents like this happening to other runners and cyclists.

“You just have to be smart about where you run,” Nordhauser said.