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According to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, an adult female hiker was attacked and sexually assaulted while hiking alone on the "Walker Loop Trail" on Tuesday afternoon.
A suspect has not been identified. The Sheriff's Office reports that the attacking male was described as caucasian, in his 40s, "tall and thin, yet muscular," and bald. He was wearing a mask.
The Sheriff's Office wants those who were hiking in the area on July 28, 2020 that may have seen something suspicious to contact Detective Asa Merriam at 303-579-3611 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The press release also encouraged recreators to be diligent and aware of their surroundings, especially while alone.
If you're hiking alone, make sure to let someone know where you're headed and when you're planning to be back. Avoid headphones that limit your hearing and research trails beforehand with safety concerns in mind. Consider hiking at busier times of the day and utilizing an emergency signaling device, such as a GPS unit or a hiking whistle. Find more safety tips here.
It's also important for those on the trail to look out for one another. If you see something that seems fishy, intervening in a safe manner may be an option. If you spot someone that might be in trouble, ask them if they need help. If you believe that you've witnessed a crime, report it to the local authorities. Find additional tips on bystander intervention here.
Walker Loop Trail is also known as Walker Ranch Loop Trail – a 8.3-mile heavily trafficked trail that is rated as difficult, according to AllTrails.com. It is located at 7701 Flagstaff Road in Boulder County, Colorado.
Safety while on the trail has long been a concern for many outdoor recreators. One group that's working hard to create a safe environment and educate trail-goers is Despite the Dark, which recently launched a chapter in Colorado Springs on March 8. Despite the Dark meet-ups around the country include things like nighttime run clubs and self-defense classes.