NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Initially, Lanana Creek Trail promoters were afraid Monday's reported incident of a man allegedly armed with a deer rifle approaching a jogger would discourage exercise.
"Yes, there was a concern that this would be another excuse for someone to avoid physical activity," said Kinnie Douglas, Healthy Nacogdoches spokesperson.
As it turns out, no man dressed in camo carrying a deer rifle will keep regular trail users away for long.
"We kinda feel like it's sort of a freak thing that's not going to happen all the time," said Douglas.
In fact, few criminal events occur on the trail. Several years ago remains of a suicide victim were found, and a flasher created some stir.
"We increased patrol and that person was caught," said Mike Kelly, assistant police chief for the Nacogdoches Police Department. "It's very rare that we even have accident type calls down there."
Even so, trail users are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings.
"Use it in the daylight hours. Go with somebody else. Carry a cell phone if they can. If not be aware of the locations of the emergency phones," advised Kelly.
The frequent jogger also suggests to people to leave one earphone of a listening device out of your ear so you can hear what's going on around you.
A person's own awareness will probably protect them the most, but what many don't realize there are people using the trail who definitely know how to protect you.
"Officers are allowed to use some on duty time each week in approved outdoor recreational areas and the trail is the main one that does get used and that happens any day from daylight to dark," said Kelly.
Those officers are usually not in uniform, so they serve somewhat as an undercover officer on the watch for any misbehavior.
Nacogdoches police say they're serious about getting to the bottom of the deadly conduct incident. Anyone with any information should contact the Nacogdoches Police Department or Crime Stoppers.