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Chicago's Runners On High Alert After Recent Attacks On Joggers

By Justin Breen | September 29, 2016 5:45am | Updated on October 2, 2016 1:52pm
 Female joggers have been attacked in three incidents across the city in the last month.
Female joggers have been attacked in three incidents across the city in the last month.
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Flickr Creative Commons/Barbara Moors

DOWNTOWN — The Chicago Area Runners Association is responding to recent attacks on female joggers in the city.

Leah Bohr, the association's director of training, said it is planning to organize a safety seminar with a Chicago Police officer at its winter training kickoff. A date and location for the event has not been set.

Police said Wednesday they looking for a man who attempted to sexually assault a jogger on the lakefront trail near the South Shore Cultural Center on Sept. 22. About 9:45 p.m., the man ran behind a 27-year-old woman jogging north on the Lakefront Trail near 68th Street and shoved her into a fence, police said.

The incident comes after two other sexual attacks on joggers in other parts of the city. On Sunday, a jogger was sexually assaulted near Sunnyside and Kedzie avenues in Albany Park. On Sept. 10, a woman was attacked as she jogged near the Merchandise Mart. Carl Freeman, 34, was charged in that attack.

RELATED: Woman Jogging On Lakefront In South Shore Attacked By Tattooed Man

Bohr, a DePaul graduate who still holds school records in the indoor mile (4:46) and outdoor 1,500 meters (4:28), said in an email that "safety is one of [the runners association's] main concerns regarding running and training."

That's "why we always suggest running in groups instead of alone," she said. "Some other safe practices are running without headphones, wearing reflective gear and running in well-lit areas. We definitely want to help people with the right resources."

Police also offered safety tips, including to always be aware of your surroundings; walk in pairs; make sure you can hear what is occurring around you — i.e., no headphones; and remember any unique descriptive characteristics of attackers such as scars, limp, acne, teeth, etc.

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