By Jeff Todd
GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A mountain biker says a renegade runner attacked him on the popular North Table Mountain Loop trail near Golden.
“For the past few nights it’s the last thing I think about before I go to sleep and I think about it plenty during the day. It’s an unwelcome distraction,” Andrew said about the incident Saturday afternoon.
Andrew says he was climbing the Loop trail on the east side of North Table Mountain and repeatedly rang his bell and alerted the trail runner he was trying to pass. The runner couldn’t hear him. A cyclist going in the opposite direction finally got the runners attention.
“He didn’t like me shaking my head,” Andrew said.
A few minutes later the runner and Andrew met again on the Loop trail on the south side of the mountain.
“He gets probably to this side of me almost completely past me and says, ‘I remember you.’ And before I know it he’s grabbing my throat. He basically shoved me over onto the boulder and I just went into total protection mode and tried to cover my head,” Andrew said. “After the two punches he stomped on my back kind of right around here,” Andrew said.
Then the runner allegedly threw Andrew’s bike 50 feet down the mountain off the trail.
“I’ve replayed the incident over in my head multiple times thinking what I could have done differently,” he said.
Andrew posted about the incident on a blog he contributes to. Since the post he’s received an outpouring of support and suggestions from amateur detectives.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says they are looking for a man in his 20s to 30s, about six feet tall, and blond hair. He could be facing charges of assault and felony property damage.
The best clue is what was written on the suspects shirt, which has been identified as a local running club. That club is working with Andrew to identify the suspect.
Andrew says he not only wants justice, but also wants this issue to spark conversation on how people can treat each other with more respect on the trails.
“What this guy did really just affects me, but the entire incident affects trail etiquette. There’s a lot of confrontations that happen,” Andrew said.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.