Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 8, 2013

Staying safe best tip of all

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A near miss for one Pauls Valley jogger serves as a reminder we can all be a little safer when we’re outside doing more things with spring now here.

It was earlier this week when a teenager girl was about to wrap up her run in Wacker Park. There she was attacked by a lone male subject wearing a dark hoodie.

PV Police Chief Mitch McGill says the incident shows we should all be more aware of what’s going on around us as the warmer weather brings more activities outdoors.

“Try to find a jogging partner,” McGill said. “You’re safer in pairs. Keep your cell phone charged and on you with one-touch dialing. Make it where you can easily call the police department.

“Stay in a well lit area, populated areas. Maybe even a whistle or a noise making device, something that will draw attention to yourself; not a bad idea,” he said.

A filed police report shows the teen was jogging the night of Monday, April 1.

Moments after the park’s lights went off from the nearby baseball fields a male subject came running up to the girl and grabbed her from behind.

The girl then screamed at the attacker and attempted to elbow him. He then let her go as the girl ran away to safety, according to police.

Afterwards she was given a few tips from officers on being safer when taking that run.

McGill said one such tip would be when jogging it might be a good idea to avoid immersing yourself in music by way of headphones.

“Maybe keep one ear free to hear what’s going on, like an approaching person or car,” he said.

“Don’t cut yourself off the from the hustle and bustle around you. Keep yourself safe.”

The local police chief reminds people that being safe really goes for just about any activity outside.

“These are not just tips for jogging. They’re for just being out and about,” McGill said.

“This is no different than parking your car at Walmart. Shop in pairs. Things like that. Be aware of your surroundings.”

Staying safe is also something needed by drivers as the warm weather could potentially bring more hidden dangers.

“Motorists also need to be on the lookout for joggers and bicyclists,” he said.

“There’s going to be more people out and about. Spring is here.”