Naked Men Spotted on Local Trails
Hikers and mountain bikers in Garfield County are getting more than they bargained for.
Police say the number of sightings of naked men on local trails has steadily increased since 2008 and is spiking now in 2012.
While some may laugh at the news, officials are taking this very seriously. "It's happening on three local trails: the Red Hill, Lorax, and Rio Grande Trails," Tanny McGinnis with the Garfield County Sheriff's Office explained. "They'll run across the trail in front of individuals completely naked."
And that is not all that's being reported. Some people have apparently seen the men hiding naked in the bushes, riding a skateboard in the nude, and even masturbating just off of the trail.
"In some of those cases, we're told the men are startled and end up running off in the opposite direction," McGinnis said.
"I think it's for the shock value," Theresa Dwyer, an avid hiker, said. "I think it's more of a scare tactic."
If that is the case, Dwyer says it doesn't necessarily bother her but she could see why it is being considered a problem by police.
"We don't know who they are or why they are doing it," McGinnis said. "But, either way, it's indecent and unacceptable behavior."
Deputies say they do have a few leads in connection with the recent sightings. They are currently following up with the witnesses. "Unfortunately, most of the information we are getting is at least a few weeks old. People should understand that if they see anything on the trail that offends them, they need to call police right away," McGinnis added.
"If we can respond immediately, we can probably catch these people soon."
The problem isn't anything new for investigators in the Carbondale area. From the two sightings reported in 2008, five have already been reported in just the first few months of 2012 and they appear to be involving different men.
Police say none of the suspects in these cases have threatened anyone but that does not take away from the danger. Now, they are warning people to always hike in pairs, always carry a cell phone, and never hesitate to call 911.
"We don't know what they're capable of, where they may go, or what they'll do next," McGinnis said.
"It's a frightening thing, especially for women," Dwyer said. "I think they need to be run off or caught."
Copyright 2010 KJCT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.