A popular bike trail in north Florida has become a crime scene. The victims are cyclists, the suspects are juveniles, and the weapon is fishing line.
Investigators are trying to unravel the mystery behind a prank that's gone too far. For the past three weeks, cyclists along the St. Mark’s bike trail have made a gruesome discovery. They've found fishing line strewn across the trail, tied tightly to trees on each side. The apparent target is a bicyclist's neck.
A Wakulla County man has a message for cyclists: "beware of fishing lines," something he learned the hard way. The cyclists who asked to remain anonymous says, "I stopped, was bleeding, got cut here; the other line didn't break."
While riding on the St. Mark’s bike trail, he came across lines tied from one tree to another. When he reported it to authorities, they said, "we know."
Three weeks earlier a state park ranger came across a spool of 80-pound line which is strong and used to catch big fish. The line has been found in several locations south of Laurel Lane. It's tied high enough to harm a cyclist, and those who love to speed are at a much higher risk.
The cyclist says, "That would go through a trachea at 25 mph, it would go all the way through in my opinion."
It’s a freaky reality for many folks who consider the trail a great escape. Here's what Wilderness Way owner Georgia Ackerman had to say: "I don't want them hurt and certainly wouldn't want customers hurt."
Ackerman owns a bike shop directly across from the trail and says now she'll post signs warning her customers, something the anonymous cyclist wants officers to do until the suspects are caught and charged.
Officers say they've had at least a few other complaints of fishing line barriers on the trail. Luckily no one has been seriously injured.
Numerous families in the Laurel Lane neighborhood have been interviewed, but the crimes continue. To ease the minds of many, officers are increasing patrols, especially with the Memorial Day holiday approaching.