ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Trail-goers say they are not staying away.
One week after a young man allegedly raped and robbed a woman in the Albuquerque Bosque, dozens of people marched along the Bosque Sunday, saying it's time to "take back the trail," even as the search for a suspect continues.
Organizers said it's to demonstrate a solidarity, near the place where the attack happened last Sunday . Dozens lined the Bosque trail near the spot where the woman said she was attacked, sporting signs that said, 'take back the trail.'
"Its safety in numbers, and just to show that we're going to stay out here that the trail is the community's trail," explained Wendy Wiggins, board member of Albuquerque Road Runners . "And one bad person can't change the way we feel about our Bosque."
The idea was Wiggins'. Within days, dozens responded in support.
"We're here to take back the Bosque to show people we're not scared to be here, and it should be a safe place and a fun place for everyone," said David Kaufman, a participant in Sunday's event.
The group wants to promote safety and solidarity against crimes like the one that happened there a week ago, before sun-down. A woman in her 40's said a Hispanic man maybe 16 to 19-years-old held her at knife-point and demanded cash. She said he stole her mace and cell phone, beat her up, and raped her.
The woman's attacker is still at large, and the air of caution still exists.
"Its very fresh on people's minds and I can say just being here right now reminds me of some of the not-so-smart things I've done," said Martha Porter, President of Albuquerque Road Runners.
Porter said she's often run there alone in the early morning hours. But Sunday, the message from participants was safety in numbers, a stand against crimes like this, in an area where people want to feel safe.
Albuquerque Police officers have spiked patrols since the crime.
Pat Vigil said she often bikes, or runs in the Bosque.
"I really enjoy the bike rides down here, I come from the middle of town and you can go a long way on the bike path," said Vigil. "It's really discouraging and frustrating to think that it is not safe, I just feel that it should be a safe place."
Police said the victim had walked off the path looking for someone. Much of the Bosque is closed due to fire danger, but people that gathered Sunday still plan on taking advantage of the Bosque trails.
"We're going to be safe, and we're going to be strong, and we're not going to be scared," said Wiggins.
Group organizers are part of Albuquerque Road Runners. They sponsor free group runs every week.
Witnesses said the suspect took off from the scene last Sunday on a white bike.
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