‘Enough is enough’: Madison police trying to catch those tying cords across busy bike path
MADISON, Wis. — No more games — that’s what Madison police say after they discovered yet another cord Wednesday strung dangerously across the bike bridge on the Badger State Trail on the city’s far southwest side.
“This is as serious as it could be for our cyclists and our pedestrians that use our bike paths,” Madison Police Department public information officer Hunter Lisko said, “and enough is enough.”
MPD is now partnering with the Fitchburg Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other agencies to crack down and catch whoever might be involved in endangering the bridge above the Cannonball Path and Capital City Trail. The spot is popular with bicyclists, and a number of trails come together in the area near the Madison-Fitchburg border.
“Right now, we’re working on developing a multi-faceted approach both to try to prevent this from happening again and to try to apprehend the individuals that are responsible for the incidents that have already occurred,” Lisko said.
The first, an HDMI cable, already clotheslined biker Gregg Goldstein last week. He rode away with some bruises and soreness.
Since then, he told News 3 Now he found two more electronics cords before they injured anyone else.
Now, officers say it’s escalating after discovering a thinner wire, metallic in appearance, early Wednesday.
“This can have deadly ramifications, and we’re not going to stand for that,” Officer Lisko said.
Lisko didn’t say specifically what measures they’re taking, other than adding eyes and ears to this trail, and others.
“I wouldn’t comment on hidden cameras but we do have public access cameras in the city of Madison,” he said.
“We’re working using a number of different approaches, different teams in our departments make sure that we’re providing extra patrol,” he added.
When a News 3 Now crew visited the spot Thursday afternoon, no cyclists or pedestrians were using the trail, but DNR crews were busy removing trees and brush. Lisko said that’s an effort to eliminate any potential hiding places for someone who may be watching the area.
If the cords continue to go up, he said multiple agencies would have to decide the next steps.
“Before we ruin this pedestrian and bicycle bridge for everybody, we’re going to work hard with every tool in our public safety toolkit before we go to a measure like closing it,” Lisko said.
While the work diverted bikers, many like Lance Letellier knew the booby traps were why.
“It’s a little scary to think that I may just be biking along and there could be these unforeseen dangers,” he said.
It shocked him how determined the person or group was, to keep tying a new cord every night.
“In general it’s such a bike-friendly city, it’s just weird to see so much sort of animosity towards bikers,” he said.
Police encourage anyone who encounters a cord or has any information to call the non-emergency line, 608-255-2345, and let the caller know where you are so they can get out there.
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