UPDATE: CPD, RPD issue warning about man approaching female joggers
UPDATE: Police say a man is approaching women while on their morning runs prompting them to issue a warning to all runners to be extra vigilant.
Martin Klinghard starts every day with a run and this 4th of July is no different.
"Kinda gets me goin', gets my day started right," he said.
Today, he's running with a friend at Greenway Farms but sometimes he logs a couple miles by himself.
"You see all kinds of animals, deer, raccoons. And I see the same people everyday and you just kind of build a relationship with them," Klinghard added.
Police are warning runners to be vigilant after receiving two reports of a man approaching female runners in Red Bank and Hixson.
In one case, police say the man walked up to the runner. In the other, he was in a white van.
Even though no crime has been committed, police still want runners to be aware.
Police say you can help protect yourself by:
Running in groups and well-lighted areas
Carrying a phone
Not wearing earbuds
Not run after dark
Not run near bushes which can provide concealment
Vary your route
Be mindful of people passing you
Like many runners, safety is something Klinghard said he keeps in mind.
"Try to be aware and look at what's around you. Try to find a safe place to run. Which, I think the greenway is a very safe area. My daughter runs here sometimes," he added.
If you notice something suspicious, call 911 immediately.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Chattanooga Police Department and the Red Bank Police Department are issuing a warning to joggers and runners in the area.
The two departments have received information about a suspicious man approaching and attempting to engage with female joggers as they are finishing their jogs.
"Based on the information both departments received, the suspect appears to be a black male who's targeting females jogging in the Red Bank/Hixson area during the early morning hours," a CPD spokesperson explained.
Police said the man was traveling on foot in one incident and was driving a white van in another. The suspect surprises victims and quickly takes off, according to CPD.
CPD and RPD want joggers to remember these safety tips:
- Jog in pairs or in a group
- Do not jog or run in a heavily wooded, poorly lighted or secluded area
- Do not wear earbuds
- Do not run after dark
- Do not jog or run near bushes which can provide concealment
- Vary your route
- Carry a cell phone
- Be mindful of people passing you
"Both agencies are warning the jogging community to be vigilant even though a crime was not committed in either of these incidents," CPD added.
Everyone is encouraged to report suspicious or possibly threatening situations to police by calling 423-698-2525 or 911.