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MILLERSBURG -- Despite reports a family was approached and menaced by two men on the Holmes County Trail on Sunday, April 16, locals say the corridor remains safe for all.
The Holmes County Sheriff's Office was called at 5:22 p.m. after receiving a complaint two men emerged from a wooded area, approached and made inappropriate comments to the female members of a family walking on the trail, just north of the Village of Millersburg, according to Chief Deputy Richard Haun of the Holmes County Sheriff's Office.
While the responding officer was unable to locate the suspicious men in question, he offered some advice to the callers, primarily encouraging them to be vigilant and aware of all surroundings while on the trail.
While the office has taken periodic reports of suspicious activity along the trail, Haun said, he believes it is safe; although, perhaps, best traveled in numbers after dark.
He said any suspicious activity or medical emergencies should be reported immediately by cell phone, if available.
"I believe the trail is safe," said Holmes County Park District Director Jen Halverson, noting the potential dangers encountered on the trail differ little from those that are possible while walking on a country road or in town.
"You should always be aware of your surroundings and what's going on around you -- not just people, but traffic," she said, noting she encourages all users to carry a cellphone so they may report anything suspicious, a bike accident, or a twisted ankle.
"Like most public properties or activities, 99.9 percent of the people who use them are good, upstanding, honest citizens. Unfortunately, there's a small amount who try to ruin it for the rest of us," said Halverson.
She said the trail is heavily used by individuals, families, groups, those on horseback, in buggies, on bikes, roller blades and pushing strollers.
"There are a lot of good people out there," she said, adding, "The honest, good trail users discourage people who are there for wrong reason. They look out for each other."
She encourages anyone who feels threatened on the trail to call 911 immediately, especially considering the office, located at the depot in Millersburg.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.