GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -- Generally, our trails in the Grand Valley are safe but before you lace up your shoes for your next run, there are a few things you should know.
“Violent crime is up over 500% in the last several years,” said Megan Terlecky with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
Terlecky said you should never hit the trails without your keys and your cell phone. Keys make an easy weapon and your phone can be used to call for help or to help find you.
Randall Thompson, the owner of the Academy of Self Defense said eye contact and verbal contact are two small steps you can take to turn around a potential attacker. That way, he said, they know you’ve gotten a good look at them.
"Starts with the mental but distance is everything,” said Randall Thompson, Owner Academy of Self Defense.
But what if someone decides you look like a prime victim for sexual assault? Thompson said you’d better be prepared for a battle.
"If you have to use weapons of any sort, be committed – fully committed. And know that you have the right to not be touched and to survive. Whatever that takes," said Thompson.
Randall and his wife, Liese showed me a couple basic moves, like a palm thrust.
"Just raking it straight up and stepping through getting all her body… oh man that's nasty,” said Thompson.
And what to do if an attacker holds your arms.
"And maybe I'm grabbing. [With a key between your first and middle finger], right find that opening [in the front of the throat], wait for it, and step in again,” said Thompson.
They also showed us how you can react if someone grabs you from behind.
"Drop and spin, right here, now get out of here,” said Thompson.
He’s telling his wife (our mock victim) to get out of here; run away, try and put two city blocks between yourself and your attacker. She said it's not about winning a fight.
"I'm buying myself distance to get away to safety or to find help,” said Leise Thompson, Owner Academy of Self Defense.
The Academy is getting ready to host a new series of self-defense classes for women starting after Easter.
They already offer cardio boxing for all ages. There's a link to their website on the right side of your screen.