Elderly Couple Attacked on Nature Trail - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

East Alabama

Elderly Couple Attacked on Nature Trail

A 36-year old Valley man is behind bars, accused of robbing and raping a 76-year old woman, in front of her elderly husband. The crime happened Saturday morning on the community's popular "Rails to Trails" nature walk.

A peaceful stroll along the Rails to Trails nature walk turned violent for an elderly Valley couple, when police say they were confronted by 36-year old Tony Rudd.

According to police, Rudd robbed the couple, then dragged them into the woods, where he tied them to a tree using shoestrings, and raped the 76-year old woman.

"They were both in their 70's, quite feeble, they were able to untie themselves after the incident and walk to the wal-mart just a short distance from the rails to trails, where upon they asked for help," said City Administrator Tim Bryan.

Rudd was arrested a short time later with the victim's license in his pocket.

Valley residents, Clifton Knowland and Bill Farr enjoy the 7-mile nature walkway. The are both shocked about the violent crime.

"It's unbelievable like I said someone was asking me the other day if this was safe and I said it was real safe never seen anything like this," said Knowland.

"They were patrolling it with bike cops, but I haven't seen them in a long time," said Farr.

Police say other than a handful of drug arrests and juvenile fights, the trail has never been the scene of a violent attack, like this.

"We are hopefull that we can convince the citizens that we are going to continue to monitor activity on the trail and that they can consider themselves safe when they are walking in the city of Valley," said Bryan.

Valley leaders are discussing adding surveillance cameras, emergency call boxes and a neighborhood watch program along the trail.

The elderly couple is okay and staying with family. As for Rudd, he's facing several felony charges.

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