Police Investigating Attacks on Madison Bike Path

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Police say they have leads in the case of juveniles attacking people on a Madison bike path. Police say the young people forced one man from his bike. They attacked another on his rollerblades.

On this East Side bike path biking is hot on any given summer day.

"We go biking a lot," Nicole Rosenthal says.

This time the mom of three took her two-year-old daughter along for the ride.

"We biked downtown to see dad for lunch," she says.

Rosenthal says having three children makes her vigilant about safety.

She remembers a number of robberies on this path several years ago.

"I remember hearing that it was one to three juveniles, teens that were jumping people and to stay with a partner after dark," she says.

A similar series of incidents happened Monday on a bike path across town.

"I don't know the motive, but it's sad when something like this happens because these are just innocent people out enjoying themselves on a bike path," Mike Hanson of Madison police says.

Police say three separate attacks on men happened between 7:30 and 8:30 in the evening on the path near Verona Road and Allied Drive.

"It doesn't appear any items were stolen at this point," Hanson says.

Police say in one of the incidents on Monday, a man from Middleton was rollerblading in this area when a number of young people blocked his path, then attacked him.

"The interesting thing is to the victim, this probably lasted hours in their head, but these happen so quick and fast that you're stunned by it and you don't realize you're being attacked until it's almost over," Hanson says.

Police do not believe Monday's attacks are gang related.

They're still trying to determine whether they're related at all.

Meantime, police encourage people always and everywhere to keep a watchful eye.

"We try and be safe, but we're not afraid of it," Rosenthal says.

Police made one arrest. They're still investigating suspects and a fourth incident that happened late last week.

They recommend people travel on bike paths with others, if possible.

Also go during the day and know your surroundings.

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