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September 17, 2015

Green Philly post prompts increased police presence at Schuykill River Trail

Schuylkill River Trail Assaults
041214_SchuylkillRiverPark_02_Carroll Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The Schuylkill River Trail runs along the eastern banks of the waterway as it passes through Philadelphia.

Thanks to community policing by Green Philly Editor-in-Chief Julie Hancher, there will be an increased police presence at the Schuylkill River Trail.

In a Green Philly blog post, Hancher reported on a recent string of assaults that have taken place on the trail, including alleged incidents on August 2, 9, 17, and most recently Wednesday.

She wrote, Although I try to avoid perusing Facebook for hours on end, I couldn’t help but noticing these recurring themes of danger on the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) in the past few months. And it’s not incidents where people are solo at 3 AM, after a Saturday evening at Bob & Barbara’s. 
One private Facebook group has discussed several incidences. One woman’s bike was stolen while she was riding on the SRT, as she rode a few hundred yards behind her boyfriend. On August 2nd, August 9th & August 17th, a group of teenage boys shoved women off their bikes (at least one theft in this incident) and/OR assaulted them.
Last evening, a woman posted in the Run215 Facebook group that a female runner was surrounded by a group of teenage males on bikes, even as people were running, riding and walking AROUND the group. Luckily the witness stopped and the assailants left. The victim said the group had been verbally and sexually harassing her. Recurring themes in these instances include a handful of teenage boys, often blocking off the trail (either by one end of the SRT by an intersection or end). The assailants either have bikes or may be without.”

In response to her post, (according to an update by Hancher)  she was contacted by Zoe Axelrod of the Schuylkill River Development Corporation who notified her that “SRDC has contacted the 9th District and they have agreed to increase police presence on the trail.”

Axelrod requested incidents be reported to 911 and concerns be sent to: Lieutenant Marty Best –; Lieutenant Stephen Johnson –; Captain’s email –

Read the full Green Philly post here.