Mario Luna was about six miles into his regular run on the San Antonio River Walk near Lexington Avenue Sunday evening when he noticed a woman sitting on the ground, crying hysterically.
“I asked her what happened. She could barely get the words out that she was assaulted,” Luna said.
According to San Antonio police, the woman was the victim of a robbery on the River Walk, just north of the Lexington Avenue bridge.
Police said she told officers a man had knocked her to the ground and stolen her purse around 6 p.m. Sunday.
Luna, who came along moments later, put his running skills to use and went after the robber, trying to find him.
Police soon arrived and joined in the search, but they all came up empty-handed.
The incident, though, has left Luna’s mind filled with concern for other regular users of the city attraction.
“I think of it as my wife, my daughter could be out here,” he said. "I don't want it to deter anyone from being healthy, coming down to the River Walk, getting their workout in. It's just about being self-aware."
That’s just the advice that police offer when it comes to staying safe in any public place — watch your surroundings.
According to Sandra Gutierrez, spokeswoman for SAPD, the latest statistics do not reflect any marked increase in crime on the River Walk.
Still, the police department offers a whole page on its website offering general safety information.
Among other things, police say the safest way to walk is with a partner or in groups, and to do so in a well-lighted area.
Police said it’s also a good idea to carry a cell phone with you if possible, just in case you need to call for help.
Luna said in spite of what happened Sunday, he still feels safe on the River Walk.
But his big concern now is making sure everyone else does, too.