Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Jogger stabbing alarms Oak Hill residents

September 24, 2014  

The Archstone Greenbelt trail, where the crime occurred, is near Staggerbrush Road and Roadrunner Lane.

by Ann Fowler

OAK HILL –   An Austin attorney was stabbed while jogging on a local trail in the early morning hours of Sept. 16. Authorities say trial attorney Mark Siefken was jogging on a trail near Staggerbrush Road and Roadrunner Lane when two men approached, asking for money. He was stabbed in the stomach after telling them he had no money on him.

The victim was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with critical injuries. He is expected to recover. Police are looking for the two Caucasian men responsible.

Many residents jog on local streets and trails during the early morning. This seemingly random and violent crime has people concerned.

Woods of Legend Oaks resident Gina Vance told the Gazette, “This incident certainly concerns me. It was a violent, seemingly random and senseless crime very close to home. The crime was committed on an adult male, so that has to make us wonder what would have happened to a woman or children?”

She said her children attend school close to the crime scene. She added, “Our family has not used those particular trails, but we have frequented similar trails around Dick Nichols Park and the surrounding areas.”

Vance said she usually takes her dog with her if she is walking or running alone—partly for the exercise, but also as a security measure. She said, “This incident is a reminder that we cannot take anything for granted, and as the kids get older and more adventuresome on their bikes, unfortunately the greenbelt areas will be probably be off limits unless they are accompanied by an adult. At this point the trails will still be used, but only at high-traffic times.”

Westcreek resident Kevin Lonseth is concerned because the crime occurred so close to his neighborhood. He said, “I have heard that there is a big transient issue in the undeveloped properties near Mopac and William Cannon, so I am curious about what the police report says about the perpetrators. I might think twice about using the trail—especially alone—but I’m doubtful anything like this would occur when the trail is well lit during the day. A violent crime like this occurring during the day would be brazen and definitely heighten my concern. I hope APD can flush this problem out.”

Another Westcreek resident, Lee Pepe, was alerted to the crime through Nextdoor Westcreek, a private social network available to local residents. While she has never been on the Archstone Greenbelt trail where the crime occurred, she said she does run on other trails. She is usually alone when she does.

Pepe said, “It is disappointing to think that fellow Austinites who are trying to create and live a healthy and active lifestyle need to be on high alert while jogging.” She said she will continue to jog as usual, but will make sure to bring her phone and pepper spray.

Added Pepe, “I’m hoping that those who are aware of this situation take a minute to reflect upon their environmental and situational awareness. Not to mean we should live in fear, but simply to be aware and alert. I typically practice that, but this has sure reminded me to be vigilant.”




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