Runner assaulted, stabbed during attack on Schuylkill trail on Christmas Day

An early morning run on Christmas Day ended with a trip to the hospital for a well-known runner in Fairmount.

Bennet Brookstein has been running in Philly since middle school. In fact, the marathon runner started the Fairmount Running club 18 years ago.

"Obviously running together, volunteering, and safety," said Brookstein.  "Those were our three points for starting the running club."

He said in all that time this was the worst run of his life. Brookstein can count the number of times he’s run alone in Philly on his two hands. Saturday morning he showed up for a group run and no one else showed up, so he took off on his own.

A couple of miles in he was brutally attacked on the path near Martin Luther King Drive and Black Road. 

He was able to get away from his attacker to some other runners as they waited for police who found and arrested the man responsible.

"I thought I knocked on like a metal hanger and I turned around and they were like no there’s something in your back and your shirt is all bloody," said Brookstein.  "At that point, they said yeah you were stabbed."

This area is known for its foot traffic, especially on the weekends. Unfortunately, the city's reputation for violence is gaining speed as well.

"Right now, I live down in Georgia and when I tell people I’m from Philadelphia and that’s where I’m coming on the holidays, everyone’s first inclination is the rising crime rate," said Peter Howell.

Brookstein will have to take some time off to physically recover. Mentally, it will be difficult to run that path again.

He hopes people see this and realize the importance of running in groups and that something is done to curb the violence.

"If I’m not going to run with a group I’ve got to be in places that are lit up I don’t know what I’m going to carry with me," said Brookstein.  "It definitely throws things off when you’re running by yourself."

He said although this happened at 8 in the morning he’d like to see the city invest in more lights and patrol on running paths.

The Fairmount running club meets Tuesday Wednesday and Saturday, here’s a link to sign up.



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