Santa Fe Scoop

, Here is the details of the assault. Both my wife and I put this together, I think I may have been knocked out briefly at points.

On the evening of Thursday July 8 we and our 2 leashed dogs were hiking the southern Dale Ball trail from the Cerro Gordo hairpin to junction 11 and back. Just before junction 11, we stepped off the trail for 2 male mountain who bikers passed us going south. After they were out of sight, a large dog appeared and approached our dogs. While it was not acting aggressively, the running approach frightened our animals, we yelled at the dog. We heard a call from the direction of the 2 bikers and fortunately the dog left.

About 10-15 minutes later (just after 8 pm before sunset), we passed junctions 12 and 11 and were approaching the first hairpin up to the little Shrine. The 2 bikers and large dog again appeared, coming downhill towards us. The dog again headed towards our dogs, upsetting them. As the bikers passed, I told them to use a leash, it is illegal to have unleashed animals. They went down the trail 10/15 yards where one cyclist laid down his bike and ran back up the trail towards us, screaming and cursing at my wife. I handed a leash to my wife, getting between him and my wife while she held our dogs and backed up.

The man put his nose in direct contact with mine, all the while cursing and screaming that he was going to teach us some trail manners. I stepped back, at which point he threw a left hook to my head, knocking off my glasses and blinding me. He picked me up and threw me backwards into a downed tree on the downhill side of the trail. He stood over me, repeatedly striking me about the face. After this stopped, I was able to get out of the dead tree and back on the trail, where he again repeatedly hit me in the face. I went down again and was kicked in the torso, back, and in the right side of the head. He was screaming "I'll kill you".

At this point the other cyclist, who was standing near his friends bike, repeatedly said "let's go". Fortunately he did, and as he left he was shouting "I'm the Big Man".

The assailant: About 6'2", blond-tan hair medium length layered cut, pale somewhat pocked complexion, blue eyes, narrow face and thin pointed features, long thin nose, goatee, about 170 lbs, thin and wiry biker build, very physically fit. I believe left handed (from repeated left hooks). Riding a red hard-tail mountain bike, did not see the brand.

His companion: Did not get a close look, darker complexion (?) long dark brown pony tail. Also on a white (?) hard-tail bike. He stood and witnessed the entire beating but made no physical attempt to intervene.

The dog: Mixed breed, pit bull/Great dane mix? About 70-80 lbs, short hair, very unusual brindled brown/black/gray coloring, boxy pit bull head.

My injuries: split lower lip, bloody bruised nose, black right eye, cuts around right eye, swelling and bruising on right side of head, very sore jaw, severe bruising/contusions on back and sides of rib cage where kicked, abrasions and bruises on both arms and right leg. Luckily nothing broken, I think.

His injuries: None, I was blind and covering my face....

I was able to return home, where paramedics examined me. A police report was filed with Officer James Mietzner, Contact info for the police is Dispatch: 505-428-3710 and investigations 505-955-5038.
We would like to see this guy charged and would consider civil litigation. He is a danger to the community and needs to be off the trails.


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Comment by Claudia Inoue on July 17, 2010 at 8:42pm
I was glad to see this in the paper...I hope this dangerous man that attacked you on the trail is caught!
Comment by Regina on July 12, 2010 at 2:37pm
That is so frightening. I don't think anyone should hike without self-defense protection. I have pepper spray canisters attached to my keys and I have them where I can easily get at them. Several people in a hiking party should have them in case there is more than one assailant.
Comment by Lily Azures on July 11, 2010 at 3:08pm
Oh my gosh! this sounds like it could have easily escalated into something worse..I also hope they are apprehended. so sorry to hear about this...we carry pepper can get it at the hunting/sporting goods store next to PC's restaurant on Airport Rd. might be worth your while to pick up a couple...
Comment by Judy Prisoc on July 10, 2010 at 10:04pm
So sorry to hear about your terrible experience! I hope you are feeling better.

I hope the bad guy who attacked you is apprehended.
Comment by Chris Dowd on July 10, 2010 at 6:29pm
Lots of drool coming from my bassets - and basset drool heals anything! I'm so sorry this happened to you - the world gets crazier by the minute. I, too, hope he is found an prosecuted. Is there any chance of having a police artist do a sketch and post it along the area you were attacked? It could be that other bikers/hikers using the area know who he is.
Comment by Claudia Inoue on July 10, 2010 at 5:20pm
Ben, you are the gentlest, kindest soul I know...anyone who knows you just a little bit would know you would wish them only the best....

The cuts and bruises will heal, what will be difficult to heal is the injury to your sense of terrible. It is so hard to feel safe anywhere anymore...I myself was at Villa Linda Mall just 30 minutes before the shooting happened the other day, I have a PO Box there and go over there almost every day. Feeling SAFE these days is hard, even in a town as small as Santa Fe, not even in broad daylight can we let our guard down, it's very very sad.
Comment by Ben Swan on July 10, 2010 at 5:14pm
Yes, I'm sorry, I forgot to also wish you a speedy recovery. Just too shocked to think straight.
Comment by Claudia Inoue on July 10, 2010 at 5:11pm
THANK YOU for posting this! I just sent this out to every single person in my email addressbook who lives here in Santa Fe! Very very scary! I wish you a speedy recovery!
Comment by Ben Swan on July 10, 2010 at 4:56pm
Wow. What a horrific experience, but thank you for sharing. We all like to hike with our dogs, so this will help serve as a warning. I will pass this information off to our police reporter, if you don't mind.

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