Runners react to armed robberies in White River State Park


Runners say they won't let two reported robberies ruin their sense of safety in White River State Park.

John Ricker knocks out five to eight miles every morning often along the running path in the park.

"I never come down this way when it's dark out. I usually stay around the lighted canal area," said Ricker.

This is the same area an IUPUI jogger reported an attempted armed robbery Friday afternoon. The alleged attack happened on an isolated section of the trail behind the Indianapolis Zoo.

Just a week earlier, another man told officers a man pulled a gun on him while he was on his phone, sitting on a rock wall. Neither victim was seriously injured.

Ricker says it serves as a reminder of what can happen.

"I don't carry anything of any value. If someone wants to steal my iPhone, alright, whatever," said Ricker.

"A watch is about the only valuable thing on me when I'm running," said Jamie Cox, who runs with "Back on My Feet" a group that uses running to empower the homeless. "We have a big group of people, residents and non-residents, so we've got...nobody ever runs alone."

While Cox feels safe, she's certainly disheartened to hear about the alleged attacks.

"The city has done a lot to help us runners have a safe spot to run the canal, the Cultural Trail, then something like that happens so it kind of makes us all aware," said Cox

"I think Indianapolis is a great city. I never feel threatened or anything," said runner Jamie Criswell as she finished the five-mile Polar Bear Run in downtown early Saturday morning.

Ricker says incidents like these shouldn't intimidate, but rather encourage awareness.

"Run with partners, run with partners. Everywhere there is stuff going on. With the economy going the way it is, crime will continue to go up. You've just got to be safe and smart," said Ricker.

Police also encourage runners and walkers to stay in groups and run with a phone when possible.

Both attempted robberies downtown remain under investigation.