After Deadly Attack, Church Offers Indoor Walking Program

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SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento church is offering a free indoor walking program after a brutal, deadly assault on the Highlands High School track rocked the community.

"I mean, to think that she (went walking) for 30 years, that was a part of her life and to have that be the cause of what happened, just her being out there," North Highlands resident Melanie Grolbert said.

What happened was 86-year-old Fusako Pestrus and her 61-year-old friend were sexually assaulted on the Highlands High School track last Wednesday. Sheriff's deputies later arrested 18-year-old Neven Butler for the attack.

Since then, many in North Highlands are afraid of being attacked on their normal walking route. That's where Liberty Towers church, just a few miles from Highlands High School, comes in.

'We are in this together, and it is really about taking back our community," Pastor Terry Schneider said. "As a group, (walking) is more fun. To do it together, you click and motivate each other and there's accountability."

Schneider said the program is typically only offered during bad weather, but he decided to make it more available after last week's attack.

Still, Pastor Schneider doesn't want this to be the permanent solution. He doesn't want the community to keep being afraid instead of coming together and fighting fear.


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