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HPD increasing police presence at bike trail in Third Ward after at least 5 cyclists were attacked

The last two incidents happened over Memorial Day weekend and were described as "very serious and very violent."

HOUSTON — Houston police said they are increasing their presence at a bike trail in Third Ward after at least five people were attacked and robbed this month. 

The last two incidents happened over Memorial Day weekend, and according to Houston Police Department Lt. Larry Satterwhite, they were "very serious and very violent." 

Both victims had to be taken to the hospital after the attacks. One of them was even shot in the leg. 

Satterwhite said most of the incidents at Columbia Tap Rail-Trail, with the exception of one, have happened in the late evening and going into the middle of the night. The attacks seem to happen in the same general area, which is near Anita Street, police said.  

"We want everybody to be able to use these trails, we want everybody to feel safe and confident. That's what it's for. But we also ask the public to be very mindful, very aware," said Satterwhite. "As dark comes on, sadly, predators in our city see that as an opportunity to seize upon this and victimize people because they don't think they will get caught because it's dark."

Investigators suspect the same individuals are committing the robberies because the incidents are similar in nature. The suspects have been described as a group of about three to six young men. 

Groups in the area that focus on safety in Third Ward and trail improvement say they won't let the criminals win.

"Right now, a lot of folks are avoiding it and that's a shame because when people avoid it, that creates even more of a vacuum from crime," said the founder of Friends of Columbia Tap.

Satterwhite said police are following some leads, but so far no one has been arrested in connection to these crimes.

This is why HPD is asking for the public's help. If you know anything about these robberies and the individuals responsible, call 713-884-3131.

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