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Authorities warn of reports of nail-studded rope found over Grand Forks trail

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 and Greenway managers are asking the public to be on alert after reports surfaced this weekend that a rope with nails driven through it was discovered hanging across a trail in south Grand Forks.

Greenway officials issued a release on Monday afternoon advising local residents of the incident and asking them to contact Grand Forks Police at (701) 787-8000 with any information.

“The Greenway is a public space open to everyone,” the release stated. “No one has the right or authority to close off access to any area of the Greenway without prior approval from one of the managing agencies.”

Kim Greendahl, the Greenway specialist for Grand Forks, said she heard of the incident through chatter on social media chatter and after a local member of the cycling community reached out to her via email on Monday. She called the incident “disturbing,” and pinpointed its location in a group of trees west of 47th Avenue South and north of Desiree Drive in the city’s south end. She suspects that it might be the work of an area resident who wants to keep motorized bikes off of the trail -- which, despite being barred from the trail, have been in the area in recent weeks.

“It’s disturbing to me, just because of how dangerous this can be,” Greendahl said. “If the issue is we’ve got other unlawful activity in there, I wish people would work with the city, with law enforcement to fix it, instead of taking it into their own hands. If this was a prank, it was a poorly thought-out prank.”

Photos provided by Greenway officials originated on a Facebook post on Northern Star Cycling Club. A man posting to the group on Sunday morning said the photos had been recently passed along to him and to “be on the lookout” while riding unpaved Greenway trails.

It is unclear from the photos if a second, lower rope was also hung at the same location.

Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said his department is aware of the matter, but that the police has not received direct evidence yet. He urged anyone with direct knowledge or physical evidence of the incident to approach police.

“We definitely want to know where it was, where it was discovered, and conduct any investigation we possibly can,” Zimmel said.

Greendahl said she’s spoken with police on the matter. She’s now drafting a joint letter to neighborhood residents asking them to help report any information on the incident.

“Somebody thought about this quite a bit. This isn’t one or two nails in it. It looks like it’s a weed-whip string.”

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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