Residents wary of trail after assault


Herald Writer

EVERETT — The Interurban Trail is popular with joggers, bicyclists, inline skaters and other outdoor athletes, but Monday’s brutal attack on a 14-year-old girl has scared away some people accustomed to using the section south of the Everett Mall.

"I’m never going to go on the trail again," said Dawn Morrissey, also 14.

Like the victim, Morrissey lives at Everett Country Club Apartments, where the trail is close by and convenient to use.

Some of her friends said they won’t go on the trail unless they’re accompanied by a group of boys.

"I don’t feel safe on the trail at night," said Jennifer Matthiesen, 13.

Some adults at the sprawling apartment complex also have concerns, but because of the unsolved attack that left the victim in critical condition, none wanted their names used.

"My boyfriend jogs (the trail) every day," one woman said.

She’s worried about the Silver Lake rest area, which she said has been the scene of problems in the past with homeless people.

Several neighbors said vagrants have confronted or frightened people on the trail. Police are not targeting them in this investigation.

At least in the recent past, the trail hasn’t been the site of reported problems, Everett police Sgt. Boyd Bryant said.

As the trail system improved, more and more people have used it, he said.

"There have been transients," Bryant said. "Transients in the area camp any place they can, any wooded area. They camp under overpasses, areas bordering the highways, railroad tracks. People who are homeless find a place to go.

"You know if you’ve got a rest area, there’s open restrooms and water and what have you," he said.

Everett police look for vagrant camps because the city has a no-camping ordinance, he said.

The Washington State Patrol has an office at the rest area.

"We don’t see a lot of transients in there," State Patrol Lt. Mark Thomas said. "We may have some people who park in there for a few days."

Over the past couple of years, troopers have had a problem combating prostitution at that and other rest areas, he said.

In an effort to solve that problem, state Department of Transportation crews have increased lighting and cut back brush to reduce places people can hide, he said.

It’s possible vagrants who live in the area could cause problems outside the rest area, he said.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

John Pederson lifts a flag in the air while himself and other maintenance crew set up flags for Memorial Day at Floral Hills Cemetery on Friday, May 24, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Volunteers place thousands of flags by veterans’ graves in Lynnwood

Ahead of Memorial Day, local veterans ensure fellow military service members are never forgotten.

People hang up hearts with messages about saving the Clark Park gazebo during a “heart bomb” event hosted by Historic Everett on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Future of historic Clark Park gazebo now in hands of City Council

On June 5, the Everett council is set to decide whether to fund removal of the gazebo. It could be stored elsewhere.

Brian Hennessy leads a demonstration of equipment used in fire training at the Maritime Institute in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘Ready to go full sail’: Maritime Institute embarks at Port of Everett

The training facility offers Coast Guard-certified courses for recreational boaters and commercial vessel operators.

George Beard poses for a photo outside of the the Stanwood Library in Stanwood, Washington on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
From sick to the streets: How an illness left a Stanwood man homeless

Medical bills wiped out George Beard’s savings. Left to heal in his car, he got sicker. Now, he’s desperate for housing. It could take years.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Lawsuit says Snohomish County deputies not justified in Sultan shooting

Two deputies repeatedly shot an unarmed Sultan man last year, body camera video shows. An internal investigation is pending.

An airplane is parked at Gate M9 on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. (Jordan Hansen/The Herald)
Good luck to Memorial Day travelers: If you’re like me, you’ll need it

I spent a night in the Chicago airport. I wouldn’t recommend it — but with flight delays near an all-time high, you might want to pack a pillow.

Editorial cartoons for Friday, May 24

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.