Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 8.46.31 AMWhen the American Tobacco Trail was envisioned years ago, several wags in The Herald-Sun newsroom immediately dubbed it the Durham Mugging Trail, anticipating that scores of unarmed joggers with earbuds to conceal the approach of any assailant was just a recipe for disaster.

Turns out the wags were right. Almost from the start, mayhem was common on the trail. City authorities periodically attempt measures to make the route safe for joggers, but, running as it does close to many of Durham’s most crime-ridden areas, those efforts have been largely unsuccessful. Police have even gone so far as to differentiate between sexual assaults and mere robbery/muggings, as if that would make the yuppie joggers feel better.

Take, for instance, the jogger robbed at gunpoint last night:

There are more questions about the safety of the American Tobacco Trail after yet another attack.

A young woman was mugged around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday while rollerblading along the popular trail near Otis Street. Police say a man armed with a gun approached the woman and took her phone.

Emergency workers checked out the victim, who apparently ran to a nearby house for help. She appeared to have cuts on her knees, but was otherwise okay.

The suspect was described as a black male in his 30s, 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, and weighing approximately 130 pounds. He was wearing a black t-shirt, red Adidas sneakers and a black doo-rag.

Maybe, in addition to iPods, heart-rate monitors, and pedometers, people who use the trail should include a concealed-carry weapon on their person.