This morning, journalist Jeremy Iggers was one of at least three victims violently attacked by six young thugs on the Midtown Greenway, a walking/biking path that runs through an old railroad right-of-way a couple blocks off of Lake Street.
Iggers and another biker were hit by thrown rocks; the other biker was beaten, and a third was robbed (it’s not clear if he was also injured). He writes about it here:
The Greenway has long been a favorite location for muggers, and it’s little wonder. The Greenway is a convenient conduit that brings innocent victims directly to criminal actors, in a straight-line tunnel with few or no avenues of escape, in the convenience of their own neighborhoods.
If you are fortunate enough to be there on the rare occasions when the Minneapolis Police’s bike cops are riding by, count yourself fortunate. The rest of the time, you’re on your own. Sure, you can call 911 once the damage is done, but when seconds count, the police are only minutes away (that’s no dig at the police; we wouldn’t want to live in a place with a cop in sight at all times.
Some bicyclists who avoid the Greenway because of the vulnerability of being trapped. Another, a Marine who shall remain nameless, beat the living crap out of his assailant (poor victim selection, that was).
Again: you’re on your own. If you happen to be a 6′ Marine triathelete, and want to take your chances against running into a thug — or five — with weapons, just ride and take it as it comes.
If you’re not that adept in hand-to-hand, or otherwise don’t like your chances, avoid the Greenway, or take steps to make sure you have the tools and training to protect yourself.
Carry permit training is available every week. Go get some.