Man, 64, beaten in Monon Trail attack
It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, mild and sunny, and 64-year-old Jim Knapp was nearing the end of a 20-mile bike ride.
He'd taken the Monon Trail from his downtown home to 96th Street as he's done several days a week for several years. But this ride would end differently - and violently.
According to police reports and family members, as Knapp pedaled south, approaching 21st Street, he saw two teens sitting on a bench to his right and another standing in the center of the trail. As he tried to pass, they jumped him.
According to his wife, he has no memory of what followed.
A passerby found him bleeding and unconscious shortly after noon and called 911. Knapp was taken to Methodist Hospital. Elaine said he had a concussion, a broken clavicle, broken ribs and "was scraped up on the entire left side of his body."
The attack occurred just a few feet from an emergency phone, which was working, but of no help to a man caught by surprise and left unconscious.
It also took place just a block south of Crime Watch camera, but the view was obstructed by trees.
According to Elaine, the teens took Knapp's cell phone, but left his bike. A man working security at a nearby church reported hearing "a loud noise" then saw three teens on bikes riding off in a hurry.
People using the Monon Monday were surprised to hear of the attack.
Curtis Bacon, who lives close to the Monon said, "It's terrible. People should be able to go where they want to and not have anyone jump them."
Duce Birdo rides the trail five days a week and has always felt "super safe. He was on a bike? Wow. That sucks...That's surprising, to be honest with you."
Chuck Wuthrich said while he carries mace when he rides, "I don't know if it would do any good. I've never had to use it, but it's there as a precaution. There's only so much you can do."
As of late Monday, police had no suspects in the beating.
Elaine was hoping her husband would be released Tuesday at the latest. She said she was still stunned at what happened, noting Knapp is six feet tall and 190 lbs.
"How much safer can you be? A guy riding his bike on a Sunday afternoon?" she said. "This trail is meant to help people become healthy (and the attack) takes away a piece of security. It's bad."