Grandview trail walkers startled by masked teenagers with bats

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- For Chris Combs and his wife Maria, the news of the 17-year-old girl being attacked on a trail they frequent is troubling.

"When I heard about these crimes on the Indian Creek Trail, I told my wife that I’m so thankful that this stuff hasn’t come to our trail yet and I was hoping it wouldn’t but just to find out it has, it’s extremely upsetting," Chris said.

But what was even scarier for the couple was what they encountered the following day.

"We saw a group of teenagers, about 15 plus, they had bats, they had masks from the movie 'The Purge' and the 'V for Vendetta' masks," Maria Combs said.

Maria said she was walking her three dogs with her husband and younger sister around 5 p.m. when they came across the group on Sunday. Maria said she asked the teens what they were doing and they said they were working on a school project. But that didn't come as a relief.

"I was really scared because I thought we were going to get jumped or hurt or something of the sort. I had no idea what was going to happen," Maria said.

"It was just extremely troubling to see that. We were nervous to walk by them. There’s viral videos all over the places of people being beat up," Chris said.

Sgt. Dean Van Winkle, of the Grandview Police Department, said additional patrols were added to the trail after Saturday's incident but is urging anyone who uses the trail to still take proper precautions.

"Trust your instincts, if you get that gut feeling that something is wrong or you become apprehensive that comes up, trust those instincts. Many times those are right." Sgt. Van Winkle said, "If you’re not even paying attention to that and noting what people look like and what they might be wearing at the time, it’s all helpful to us trying to find somebody."

Although Chris said the teens did nothing wrong, it was unsettling given the current climate and hopes incidents such as this do not escalate into something worse.

"You never know what people are capable of nowadays. That’s just the unfortunate times we live in but it’s in very poor taste to be out in public, looking like that in a secluded park on a trail," Chris said.

Grandview Police are still investigating Saturday's assault. Police said the teen did not have serious injuries. Anyone with information about the suspects or what happened should call the TIPS Hotline.