Lewisville's Director of Parks and Leisure Services does not anticipate installing additional lights in the city's parks following the sexual assault of a jogger on New Years Eve. However, the police chief says it's too early in the investigation to speculate whether lights would have deterred her attackers.
"At this stage of the investigation, it is too early to say with any degree of certainty whether lights or any other factor could have prevented this incident," Lewisville Police Chief Russ Kerbow said.
At 7:30 p.m. on New Years Eve, a 32-year-old woman was jogging at Lenard L. Woods Park in Lewisville. She told investigators two men jumped from behind a tree and sexually assaulted her.
Police are calling the incident a random, isolated attack.
However, some joggers are saying the city should, at least, look into the option of further illuminating the city's 14 miles of jogging trails.
"For the most part I think it's well lit, this one area; but there are areas further down that isn't, and I wouldn't even go past there because it's not lit at all," said Maureen King, who jogs four miles most days at Lenard L. Woods Park.
City officials aren't so sure that's the answer, especially considering the infancy of the investigation. Larry Apple, Lewisville's director of Parks and Leisure Services, said he was concerned lights would give park patrons "a false sense of security."
"It would be very difficult to light all of the trails within the community," Apple said. "Which ones do we light, which ones do we not?"
Lenard L. Woods Park is a linear park that runs between Prairie Creek and a neighborhood. At its widest point, the park stretches 500 feet between homes.
"It's a very active park. It's right in the middle of a residential area, you can see across the park from one home to the other," Apple said.
Apple said the city does not recommend activity in the parks after nightfall, "so by putting the lights out there we would be encouraging the activity."
Apple advises residents to be aware of their surroundings and travel to the parks in groups. However, he said the department "certainly wants to take a look at" lighting the parks –– it's just too early in the investigation to make a judgment call.