Runners buying more mace after LSU Lakes attack

One of Baton Rouge's most exclusive areas to live is also where police are investigating an attack.  It happened at 2597 E. Lakeshore Dr. Around 6:15 p.m. Thursday.

Police say a woman, 30, with headphones on was running when a man came up from behind her and choked her unconscious.  When she woke up, he was on top of her hitting her in the stomach.  She said she screamed and he ran away.  Now, runners are taking precaution.

It's a serene setting where the leaves are changing colors and cranes and turtles are common sightings.  Plus, an annual sight, the pelicans in Baton Rouge, bring even more people to the LSU lakes around this time of the year.

But news of a woman running the lakes reportedly attacked Thursday evening is having a ripple effect on many other female runners.

"I think that it's terrible.  I think we should be able to safely run around these lakes.  I think that's what most people use them for, exercise," said Ann Rene Shores, a runner.

"I was shocked because nothing like that has happened in a while around Baton Rouge so it kind of surprised me," said Tiffany Favre, another lakes runner.

It's why Favre went to the Baton Rouge Police Supplies Friday, to buy three cans of mace, one for herself and two others for girlfriends.  

"I'm an avid runner and I heard the attack last night around the LSU lakes so needed something to make me feel safer," said Favre.

Baton Rouge Police Supplies owner Don Hogan said not only is there an increase in people buying mace, but with the recent attempted kidnapping of an 11-yr-old in the Garden District, Hogan said they're selling many more door jammers.

"We always see an increase around the Christmas time area.  That's why more people are coming in here and buying.  The time change, it gets dark earlier and more people going out to the mall and shopping.  They're concerned about their safety," said Hogan.

Which is why some have their four-legged friends and others are taking other precautions.

"normally, I carry a knife while I run.  Today, I forgot it, however I did tell my co-workers where I'm going, and they know how long I would be gone, and they should know soon if I don't show up," said Mallory Morgan, another runner.

"I make sure I never run once the sun has set.  I only run if it's daylight hours, and most of the times, I carry my cell phone with me," said Shores.

Some precautionary measures are try to avoid running at night.  If you absolutely must, take a small flashlight with you.  If you have to have headphones in, keep one ear free so you can hear everything around you.  If you're attacked, make as much noise possible and try to fight back if you're able to.

Police said it's unknown whether the attempted kidnapping from the Garden District and the attack around the LSU  Lakes are connected.  Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers, 344-STOP.