ST. LOUIS • Five teens have been charged as juveniles with felony assault after police say they attacked a runner on a trail along the western edge of Forest Park Sunday night with tree branches.
The man, 45, had cuts on his face and bruises to his body after the attack and was taken to a hospital for treatment, police said. Five boys, ranging from 13 to 16, were arrested and turned over to juvenile authorities.
Police said the the man was running on the trail near Skinker Boulevard and Arundel Place about 7 p.m. when he saw the group of teens blocking the trail. As he tried to pass them, they hit him with branches, police said.
The teens ran north on Skinker but were arrested a short time later near Forsyth Boulevard.
Authorities gave no motive in the attack, but believe it is an isolated incident, said Capt. Dan Howard.
“This was a group of five unsupervised juveniles looking for trouble,” he said.
The victim and another witness were able to give police a detailed description of the suspects, which helped police identify and apprehend them quickly, Howard said.
“We have officers on ’round-the-clock overtime, and with extra officers saturating the park when this description came out, we took them all into custody shortly after the incident,” he said.
Howard noted that overall crime in Forest Park is down more than 50 percent compared to the same time last year.
Sunday’s incident was the first crime against a person in the park this year, Howard said.
“This was about a good witness and good police work,” he said.