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2 brazen attacks along popular Pinellas Trail | News

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2 brazen attacks along popular Pinellas Trail
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- On any given day along the 47-mile long Pinellas Trail, you'll see a bevy of bikers and walkers.

"I bring my dogs here every day ... it's pretty busy," says Marco Santi.

But what happened on Saturday afternoon is chilling some to the core.

A couple was attacked between 43rd and 49th Street at 3 p.m. while they were out on a bike ride. They were cut-off, beaten, and had both bikes stolen. The woman was pistol whipped, and had her teeth knocked out of her mouth.

To frequent users of the trail, like Marco, this is a horrifying wake-up call.

"That's a shock to me, because it's been pretty quiet so far. I've been coming here 12 years. It worries me, because I come with my wife ... and I'd give my life to my wife."

As if the first incident wasn't scary enough, less than six hours later, along 28th Street, there was another attack. This time, it involved a lone woman on a walk.

"She was approached by teenagers, and her purse was ripped out of her hands. One produced a gun," says Michael Puetz of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Even though the trail closes at sunset, many bikers could still be found on the path at night. Even more reason for Puetz to heed this familiar warning.

"Caution is the watchword. Be aware of your surroundings."

Police are looking into whether the two incidents are related.

Meanwhile, police say a GPS-enabled cell phone found in one of the first victim's bike pouches provided useful information to help solve the case. 

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