Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Pedestrian safety tips from the Alexandria Police Department

November 21, 2011 - 02:10 PM
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(Photo: flickr/elvertbarnes)

As we all know, November marks greater pedestrian dangers due to greater commutes home. But a recent jogger assault on Del Ray Avenue raises another concern — the security of our daily commutes. In light of the recent incident, the Alexandria Police Department offers the following jogging safety tips to all our region's commuters:

• Avoid running with headphones.
• Run in well lit areas.
• Try and run with a partner when possible.
• Keep a cell phone with you at all times.
• Let people know what routes you plan to take.

In other words, don't go wandering off alone, vulnerably insulated in a sonic bubble of your iPod music, and without anyone knowing where you are. Easier said than done for some people just trying to jog before or after work on a given weekday but wise points nonetheless. This advice applies to both joggers as well as pedestrians in my book. Both are equally vulnerable out there on the streets.

According to police, the assault occurred this morning at 6 a.m. around the 200 block of E. Del Ray Avenue A man grabbed the female jogger from behind and inappropriately touched her and pushed her to the ground. She screamed and caused the man to run off, fleeing toward Mount Vernon Avenue. Police describe him as "unknown race male wearing a black puffy, thigh length coat, a black skull cap and dark pants" and recommend calling Detective Kevin Thomas at 703.746.6273 or the Criminal Investigations Section at 703.746.6711 if you know anything.

Between this assault and the bicyclist injured on the GW Parkway, life has not been the easiest for northern Virginians lately here at On Foot. More than anything, I would encourage caution — and remember these tips from Alexandria police. You never know when they'll come in handy.

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