Booby-Trapped Trails Injure Runners in North Carolina

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It takes a certain type of evil for a person to want to hurt folks who are already going through the pain cave that is running, and it seems like that certain type of person was running amuck over the weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. The popular Pinnacle Park was shut down when two runners were injured after stepping on deliberately placed spikes on trails, leading to a full investigation.

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A runner’s foot was impaled earlier this month while running on the trails through the park, and just days later, someone walking through the park also stepped on a spike. Town officials then led a metal detector sweep of the park’s 18 miles of trails, which resulted in investigators uncovering more than 40 spikes, crudely constructed nails hammered into tree roots and logs.

“On Saturday we found eight in an isolated area and thought we had it contained, but when we explored more, we found it was more than we could handle ourselves, so I called the police chief,” Brian Barwatt, an engineer with the Department of Transportation, and the race director of the Assault on Black Rock, a trail race in Pinnacle Park, said in a report from USA Today. “We’re literally blowing every leaf off the trail and following behind with metal detectors.”

Officials began the full-on investigation as soon as they realized the extent of work the culprit put into their malicious handiwork. “It was a deliberate effort. Someone hammered four-inch long galvanized nails and left them sticking out a half- to one inch, and at an angle so they’re like spikes,” Barwatt added. “It’s hard to believe someone would do this.”

Currently there is a $1,000 reward leading to information about the case, and anyone with information is asked to call the Sylva Police Department at 828-586-2916. 

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