Attacked on a snowmobile trail

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

Some trouble on the trails has snowmobilers of all ages thinking twice about riding alone.

Friday night, an 18 year-old was attacked and knocked unconscious while he was driving through the trails in Edwardsburg.

The victim and his mother are upset and don't want to talk about the incident.

Physically, the 18 year-old is doing okay but, adults close to him say he's still bothered he was attacked out of nowhere.

They say this is not the first attack or possibly attempted robbery they've heard of on these slopes but, this one really opened their eyes.

Thirteen year-old Tyler Niespodziany's been revved up. He recently got his license to take his sled and fly solo on the slopes but, his mom says he better think twice.

Kathy Niespodziany says, “It's a wake-up call.”

Cassopolis County Police confirmed that wake-up call happened on the slopes in Edwardsburg Friday night around 8 o'clock.

Tyler's older brother's best friend, an 18 year-old, was cruising along when he was attacked and knocked out.

Here's how the victim described the attack to a close family friend, Bob Somers.

Somers says, “Basically, he got ambushed with a tree marker that's about an inch, an inch and a quarter in diameter piece of wood, that smacked him in the helmet and knocked him unconscious off the sled.”

Somers say about 30-40 minutes later, a couple found him, woke him up, and he was able to call police on his cell phone.

Kathy Niespodziany says if this would've happened to her son,Tyler, it probably would've killed him.

Somers and Niespodziany say the victim is a good sized kid, but they've learned size or age doesn't matter.

Somers says, “This seems to be a reoccurring problem in the Edwardsburg area.”

Somers say last season, someone stopped his friend, asked for directions, wacked him around, and tried to steal his sled.

Then, he says there was a similar incident.

He says, “Basically, he broke down on the trails and somebody snuck out from some place and made an attempt to steal a snowmobile.”

Somers and the Niespodziany's say the sign near the trails should not only read, "Ride Safely" but, "Don't ride solo."

Niespodziany says, “It's not safe. It's not safe to do it by yourself.”

Police say because Monday was a holiday they couldn't get their hands on the report filed. They will look into it Tuesday morning.

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