I am posting this not to scare folks but to make people aware. Please be careful and if possible don't be by yourself. We are so fortunate this gentleman got away.
web posted in edgefielddaily.com on July 27th.
MCCORMICK – A mountain biker riding on the FATS trails in the Merriwether area on Saturday decided to end his ride by going down to Stevens Creek. On the trip back to his car three men in "full camouflage" reportedly stretched a rope across the trail causing the rider to be thrown from his bike around 9 pm. The three men then attacked the downed rider and attempted a sexual assault before the man was able to fight them off and run from the scene. At least one of the men is said to have then fired a shot at the victim as he ran away.
The news broke when the victim's wife posted the account on the SORBA-CSRA website Sunday afternoon around 1:30 warning other riders of the Forks Area Trail System (FATS) that is mainly in Edgefield County, but has trails and a parking area in McCormick County as well as the Stephens Creek Trail in Modoc where the attack took place. According to the Moderator of the forum, the incident was confirmed and is being investigated by the McCormick County Sheriff's Office and the US Forestry Service.
The attackers were said to be white and possibly in their 30's, standing around 5' 8" tall, though one was reported being a little shorter.
She reported, "He [her husband] lost consciousness for a little bit and when he opened his eyes one of the guys was slamming his head into the dirt, which eventually ripped off his helmet. The assailant on top of him then attempted a sexual assault, while telling him that those woods were for hunters only, and that he was going to learn tonight."
The woman was thankful her husband was able to escape relatively unharmed. "Thankfully he was able to escape with only minor scrapes and bruises and they had left all of his possessions (bike, helmet, etc..) in the woods, which he retrieved this morning [Sunday] with the police."
She said her husband, who is 6' 3" tall and weighs 200 pounds, is an avid rider of the trails, but "says he will never go back out there again".
Edgefield Daily was unable to obtain a copy of an incident report due to the Sheriff's administration office being closed for the weekend. We have also tried to reach out to the victim for more information. We have confirmed the incident as Edgefield County Sheriff's Deputies were also called to the scene, but were turned back while enroute stating the incident was in McCormick County.