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Police: Nail-studded rope on Greenway work of kids making fort

A rope with nails driven through it was discovered hanging over a Greenway trail in southern Grand Forks over the weekend, prompting calls for anyone with information on the incident to call Grand Forks police at (701) 787-3000 with any information. (Courtesy photo)1 / 2
A rope with nails driven through it was discovered hanging over a Greenway trail in southern Grand Forks over the weekend, prompting calls for anyone with information on the incident to call Grand Forks police at (701) 787-3000 with any information. (Courtesy photo)2 / 2

Grand Forks police say they're satisfied there's no cause for alarm in the wake of reports that a nail-studded rope was found hanging over an unpaved Greenway trail in the city's south end.

Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said his department talked with an area parent who said it was the unintentionally alarming work of neighborhood children.

"We had a parent get a hold of us this morning. When we're talking about juveniles, we're talking 10 and 11 years old," Zimmel said. "The story that was relayed was that there were kids down on the Greenway making a fort of some sort ... and in order to put up defenses against older intruders, they made themselves a defense line."

Zimmel said the rope appears to have been in place for only a few hours during the past several weeks before being removed, during which time someone took photos of the item. He chalked the incident up to "kids having more imagination than common sense," and said police are satisfied that "parents have provided adequate intervention."

Police and Greenway officials warned the public Monday to use caution on the Greenway after social media chatter on the discovery, along with the photos, made their way to Greenway Specialist Kim Greendahl. She issued a media release asking anyone with information to contact police.

She initially suspected a resident near the trail—in a cluster of trees north of Desiree Drive—hung the rope to deter drivers of motorized vehicles, like dirt bikes, that had recently been in the area. She called the incident "disturbing."

"I'm glad that we've solved the issue, and that we're not looking at a serial incident, that it was isolated—not well-thought out, but at least it was isolated," Greendahl said. "But it was also a good opportunity for people to remember to report those things when they see it."

Photos of the incident came from a social post by Aaron Kennedy, an avid cyclist and UND professor. Reached on Monday, he said those trails are often used by cyclists.

"During the summer months, we ride those unpaved trails as much as we can as long as it's not muddy," he said.

Sam Easter

Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.

(701) 780-1108
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