Saturday, August 11, 2012


Montgomery County Police have released the following list of tips for residents, after 3 women were attacked by a Phantom Hugger in Bethesda this summer.  Some of the hints are a bit anachronistic for the year 2012, but are standard and solid safety advice, to avoid an unwanted hug from this fellow:

1.  Do not walk/jog with earphones.  Don't be distracted by electronic devices to the extent that you are unaware of your surroundings.

2.  Carry a cellphone.  (I know very few people do, but...)

3.  Vary your walking/jogging route.

4.  Complete exercise/errands during daylight hours.  (Translation:  OMG!!  DON'T GO OUTSIDE AT NIGHT!!  Well, okay, I do think it's very good advice to jog or run during daylight hours, particularly if you are using a secluded trail).

I might add that, in downtown Bethesda - if you are new to the area - the safest places late at night are around Bethesda Row, and along St. Elmo and Norfolk Avenues near Union Jack's, Rock Bottom, Hanaro and BlackFinn.  Not only are these areas populated and pretty well lit, but county police are out in force there at night.

Since the Phantom Hugger's m.o. is to sneak up from behind, your best defense is to remain aware of your surroundings at all times.

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