IMPD steps up patrols on Monon Trail following attacks

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INDIANAPOLIS - A 34-year-old man was attacked on the Monon Trail in the Broad Ripple area Thursday morning. The mugging attempt comes a week after another man was shot while walking on the trail near 86th Street.

In response, the city says it's stepping up police presence on the trail.

The victim was attacked around 6:30 am Thursday morning as he took his dog for a walk at 61st and the Monon. The man said he was hit in the head, knocked to the ground and struck in the face several times.

The two suspects went through his pockets looking for items. When the victim said he didn't have anything on him, the attackers ran away.

Police don't have any suspects in this latest attack, although the police report identifies them as African-American male teenagers.

The victim's dog, named Olive, ran away during the attack.

"This is right in my neighborhood," said Jemma Kenworthy.

"It's just scary. It was a man and he had a dog and yet they're desperate enough that they attack him. It's scary," said Beth Kinn of Carmel.

This latest violence on the Monon comes just over a week after police say that 16-year-old Devon Moore shot Gary Bravard eight times near 86th Street as the victim walked home from work in the late afternoon. Moore is charged as an adult with attempted murder and robbery.

On Friday, IMPD patrolled the trail near the latest incident by car and on foot. A spokesman for Mayor Greg Ballard confirmed to Eyewitness News that IMPD is immediately adding extra patrols on bicycle, horseback, foot and slow-moving motorcycles for the rest of the summer.

It's a police presence that trail users say that they welcome while knowing that IMPD can't be everywhere at anytime on the Monon

"I've noticed that in the last number of weeks, they have been here more. They were on horses this weekend. I've seen them on bikes a lot. I appreciate that. It means a lot," said Carla Weaver of Indianapolis.

"I've always felt safe on the Monon," said Kara Hieser of Indianapolis.

While these two recent crimes on the Monon are concerning to the thousands of people that use it, it will also likely make some rethink about the time of day that they choose to be on it.

"I don't really know, exactly, how you can prevent everything," said Alisa Judy of Indianapolis.

Next week, a new state law will allow those with licenses to carry a gun with them in public places, like the Monon Trail.

"It doesn't mean I'm a good shot or that it's a good thing for me to do," Judy said.

"Having young infants out there, you're gonna have a bunch of people with guns that don't necessarily know how to use them?" Kenworthy asked. "No. I wouldn't feel comfortable at all with that."

South of 38th Street, a 911 operator is a phone call away on one of six emergency call boxes that stretch to 10th Street.

"They're a great idea. They're a great concept, but I don't think they necessarily make a difference," Kenworthy said.

The Department of Public Works says all the call boxes are currently working and, starting Monday, they will be checking them weekly. But a test call by Eyewitness News on Friday got no response.

"I've got my cell phone and my husband," Hieser said.

Others say they have their common sense keeping watch around them and only use the trail during daylight hours.

In a separate incident reported Monday, a man riding his bike northbound south of 38th Street said a teenager struck him as he rode past a group of teens ages 12-15 years old. A park ranger was dispatched and spoke to the man, who declined medical attention.