UPDATE: Fear lingers after arrest in pair of Oak Leaf Trail attacks

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by WDJT Editor
by Matt Doyle

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police confirm they've arrested a 43-year-old suspect in connection with two sex assaults that happened on the city's east side.

"Sometimes it just makes you consider the paths you take a little bit more," UW-M student Peter Lyngso said.

"It's crazy man." I never expect nothing like this to happen,"  Christopher Anderson said as he walked down the trail.

"It's something you really have to worry about," Haley Smith said.

Collective reaction to two sexual assaults on Milwaukee's Oak Leaf Trail Tuesday.

"It's a good path for exercising," Anderson said.   "It leads all the way up to the lake. I see everybody pretty much jogging, exercising, and conversating."

The first attack happened near 1600 N. Prospect just before 3:00.   A 27-year-old woman jogging was sexually assaulted.

Just minutes later near the Oakland Avenue bridge by North Avenue - a 23-year-old woman was sexually assaulted as she ran on the bike path.

"I kind of make the mistake myself where I feel safe," Smith said.

Milwaukee Police arrested the 43-year-old man in 1300 block of N. Lincoln Memorial Drive an hour after the incidents.

"I'm mid-20s and I often walk by myself during the day, sometimes at evening," Smith said.

Smith walks the Oak Leaf Trail all the time.   She knows she needs to be prepared for anything.

"I always keep it in the back of my head...some sort of defense mechanism," Smith said.   "Usually just keys or I usually do have mace in a purse of mine."

Many agree extra safety measures could help stop this from happening again.

"Lighting for sure. I wish I could take it at night because I do kind of feel safer being on the trail rather than walking on the street."

"Hopefully we can see some sort of advances in the safety and patrol for bikers and joggers in the area," Lyngso said.

Charges have been referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.

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