Danger on the Swamp Rabbit Trail

New Security Measures Coming to Greenville after Various Attacks

The Swamp Rabbit Trail, an important aspect to most athletes in Greenville, has had some suspicious activity these past few weeks. According to Greenvilleonline.com, there have been three separate gun related incidents on and near the West Blue Ridge Drive area of the popular and one assault between the YMCA and Cleveland park. Of these four occasions, there has been one reported casualty and one injury.

The first tragic occurrence happened August 12. The Environmental Protection Agency found the body of Robert Brent Banta, a homeless man, buried 100 yards off the trail. The autopsy found that Banta had been shot in the chest. The police are running an investigation but have not made any arrests yet.

The second crime involved a pair of cyclists. They were riding their bikes sometime between August 18 and August 25 when a shooter started firing a gun. The cyclists fortunately stopped their bikes and fled from the scene without injury. The police currently investigating the attempted murder, but have had no luck with finding the culprit.

The third gun related incident occurred on August 24. Gunshots were reported by a resident close to the trail, but when police investigated, they only found two road signs which had bullet holes in them.

At 11:30 in the morning on August 6, a man attacked a woman on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The woman was rollerblading when the attacker threw her on the ground and hit her several times. The victim began to defend herself as the man began to flee. A police officer came to the scene within minutes of it’s occurrence. The woman only had minor injuries and it was not necessary for her to go the hospital. Thus far, authorities have proven no connections between the crimes.

All of these crimes raise a question: should we be worried about the rising crime on the Swamp Rabbit? According to the police, no. Even though the West Blue Ridge Drive area has one of the highest crime rates in Greenville, the police say that they do not see it as a dangerous neighborhood. “I am not really worried about running on the Swamp Rabbit because I always go with friends after school when there are a lot of people,” said Worth Gentry, a Sophomore cross country runner, when asked about if he was worried about running on the trails.

The Greenville police department have taken several precautions. The Chief of Police Terri Wilfong is raising money to invest in security cameras and for a higher presence on the trails. The majority of the 32 mile trail is safe, but runners must remember to stay in a populated area during the day and to always stay cautious.