(MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo.) — Earlier this week, law enforcement responded to the Barr Trail parking lot, where a 60-year-old man was found with over a dozen stab wounds.
On Wednesday afternoon, hikers shared their concerns about safety, including Isaac Martinez and Jordan Wallis.
“Yeah, but it is scary,” said Wallis. “We wouldn’t have done it [hiking] late at night like we used to.”
Colorado Springs Hiking Enthusiast, Bob Falcone ‘Hiking Bob,’ shared tips on what hikers should be aware of when going out on a hike, including being conscious of their surroundings.
“The key thing for people to remember and you don’t want to downplay this event because it’s obviously a serious, you know, very serious event,” said Falcone. “It serves as a reminder, too, for people to just constantly be aware of their surroundings and to be always prepared for just about anything.”
When it comes to hiking safety, Hiking Bob said it is more likely for you to have an injury by falling on the trail.
“You’re more likely to have an issue on a trail from an injury, like a slip or a fall, or twisting an ankle or blowing out your knee or like we’re experiencing today bad weather rolling in,” said Bob. “You’re more likely to have an issue with that than you are with, you know, a violent crime such as this. Not to say that it can’t happen, not to say that we should downplay this at all, but it’s important to keep things in perspective.”
CFMAF Martial Arts and Fitness offers courses in self defense and self protection to help community members have the tools in case they are in a dangerous situation.
“So anyone can train,” said CFMAF Head Instructor, Isaac Costley. “You just have to have the mindset that you do not focus on what you can’t do, you focus on what you can do and we’ll show you how to do those things well.”
Costley provided tips on how to mentally prepare for an attack.
“You have to know what to do before they put their hands on you, that’s your awareness skills,” Costley said. “Then when they’re taking their steps toward you, you go to your protection skills. Then when their hands are on you, then it’s self-defense. But too often we pass awareness, we pass protection, and we’re into a self-defense scenario, which means I’m reacting to something instead of acting.”
CFMAF is offering a spring and summer series on self-protection and self-defense which you can sign up for online.
When going out on the trail or going out for an evening stroll, Costley stressed the importance of having a plan for the worst-case scenario.
“You have to treat yourself like a professional firefighter, like a professional police officer,” Costley said. “What does that mean? You have a preplan for any scenario that may happen. Enjoy the outdoors, but if it’s going to be dark at night, make sure that you’re going to have your phone with you in your hand and on while you’re talking to someone.”
While Martinez and Wallis expressed their concerns at the trailhead, they also said it did not stop them from hiking today.
“When things happen like that, you can’t stop living your life just because of, you know, one bad incident,” Martinez said. “But who knows what really happened behind it.”
With the weather warming up and more people heading outside, Hiking Bob is hopeful that people will continue to enjoy the beauty of Southern Colorado trails.
“You know, hundreds of thousands of people hike out here every year with no incident,” Falcone said. “They don’t get hurt. They don’t get stuck in bad weather. They don’t get injured by another person or anything like that without downplaying this incident. This is a serious thing. I just don’t want to see anybody blow this out of proportion. I certainly don’t see anybody decide I’m not going to go hiking anymore because this one incident.”