SACRAMENTO -- A homeless man is recovering from an attack by five people on the American River Bike Trail, one of them wielding a machete.
The attack happened shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday night. The victim was found by police officers at the corner of Northgate Boulevard and the Arden-Garden Connector, a gathering spot for the homeless who live along the bike trail nearby.
A trail of blood could be traced back several hundred yards to a spot on the bike trail. Homeless residents say it's not unusual that there is activity at night, because the transients often lay low during the heat of the day.
"It's scary out here at night," said a man who frequents the intersection and who didn't want to give his name. "You don't know who you're dealing with, it could be a mass murderer from another town,"
David Surkamer, who has lived on the trail for 12 years, says it's tough to size up frequent newcomers, some of whom have mental health issues.
He says you have to have a weapon if you live on along the trail.
"Something that's legal, not like a gun or nothing like that... Like, I have a machete," said Surkamer.
Apparently machetes are not uncommon among homeless campers who use them to clear away thick brush when setting up a campsite. Police say daytime users of the trail are rarely attacked at random.
A police spokesperson said violent incidents often occur after there is an argument or friction among homeless people who know each other.
Police so far have no motive for the attack and will continue to investigate the incident. Their task is made more difficult because witness or suspects often have no address or phone.