RIO LINDA — Police say a 73-year-old veteran was attacked last week along a Rio Linda bike trail by two men believed to be homeless.
Officers and a police helicopter searched the area but could not find the suspects — and it wasn’t the first violent attack along the trail this year.
In April, two miles to the north, an elderly homeless man was found beaten to death along the path. Both attacks have put cyclists on edge.
“That’s why I started carrying (pepper spray) in case I was confronted,” cyclist Paul Lyle said.
Lyle says he’s never had to use it but it’s something he feels he needs because he says the homeless problem along the path has gotten worse, particularly at night.
“They feel kind of secluded back there and safe and then all of a sudden people start coming through with new bikes and new different things,” Lyle said.
A portion of Rio Linda Boulevard has been closed for construction. That has Lyle and others calling on police to patrol the actual bike path more.
“There’s enough people going by here that it wouldn’t hurt them to have a couple of guys on bicycles,” Lyle said. “They need to have them patrol out here.”
The man who was attacked last week, identified only as Chuck, was released from the hospital on Monday.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story reported an arrest had been made in the April attack, as FOX40 was told by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. A sheriff’s department spokesman has since clarified that the incident remains under investigation and no arrests have been made.