An incident from earlier this month prompts Madison County law enforcement officials to put the public on alert. A woman was grabbed while jogging. She made it to safety. But as our Iris St. Meran explains, planning ahead and always having your cell phone are just a few of the ways to play it safe.
LENOX, N.Y. -- Tuesday was an ideal day to get out and enjoy the fall weather. But Madison County law enforcement officials say before you go on a walk or take a jog, you should keep some safety tips in mind.
Madison County Undersheriff John Ball said, "Be familiar with the trails, be familiar with where you're going. If you don't know where you're going, don't use those trails. I think one of the most important things is carry a cell phone."
This cautionary tale was prompted by an incident earlier this month. Ball says a woman was jogging on the Erie Canal walking trail when a man approached her and grabbed her arm. She was able to get to safety and contact police. The undersheriff says this was an isolated incident, but can be a teachable moment for everyone everywhere.
We caught up with people out and about at Onondaga Lake Park to see how they protect themselves.
"We're kind of new at this, but we just came as a group. There are three of us running together today. And we're trying to run back to the car before it gets dark," said Nicole Wafer.
Jaime Lawlor explained, "I always make sure that someone knows I'm going out. Especially, I live alone, I had an apartment by myself, so if I wasn't there, there's no roommate to make sure I was okay or got back in time."
Headphones are a popular accessory for walkers and joggers but the undersheriff says you should always keep one ear free so you can not only see, but hear who and what are in your surroundings.
"You want to be cognizant of the noises around you any sounds coming from behind you, rustling in the trees, be cognizant of wildlife," Ball added.
Some other things that can help include wearing reflective clothing. You should also change your routine in case someone is watching you and contact law enforcement if you see someone or something that is suspicious. They say it's best to err on the side of caution.