Barbed wire, nail booby traps found on NJ trail where cyclists, hikers feud over turf
Who is stringing barbed wire and rope across the trails of the High Mountain Park Preserve in Wayne?
Police Captain Lawrence Martin said a resident reported finding "booby trap hazards" along the trails, including wood boards hidden beneath the surface of the trail with screws/nails sticking out, and broken bottles placed along the trails behind or next to rocks or logs.
Police released photos of the traps.
"These events pose a serious risk to hikers and mountain bikers that use the High Mountain Park for recreation," Martin said, adding that the barbed could seriously injure or kill someone walking the path.
Martin noted that cyclists and hikers on the trail have feuded in the past over use of the trail. He said the hazards would be an "insane" way to resolve their issues.
"They're always fighting because (the hikers) are on the path and the mountain biker comes by at a quick clip" without sounding a bell or giving any warning, Martin said.
Whoever is creating the hazards could face serious criminal charges.
"You can never create a hazardous condition like a pothole in the roadway or put spikes out. It's almost like an unspoken threat," Martin said. If someone falls and is hurt, whoever was responsible could face aggravated assault charges.
"In the case of the barbed wire, it could be a homicide," he said.
High Mountain Park is part of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference with Wayne, North Haledon, Franklin Lakes, William Paterson University Police all having jurisdiction.
Martin asked that anyone with information about the hazards contact Wayne Police at 973-694-0600 or any of the other agencies.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com