Family: Don’t be afraid to use trail
by Emily Boorstein
August 03, 2014 04:00 AM | 4107 views | 9 9 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jim Waddell, center, comforts his brother, Joey, who is overcome with emotion as he leads a crowd of about 150 in a prayer for his sister-in-law, Tina Waddell, Jim’s wife, who was severely beaten while walking on the Silver Comet Trail in Paulding County earlier in the week.<br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Jim Waddell, center, comforts his brother, Joey, who is overcome with emotion as he leads a crowd of about 150 in a prayer for his sister-in-law, Tina Waddell, Jim’s wife, who was severely beaten while walking on the Silver Comet Trail in Paulding County earlier in the week.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
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HIRAM — About 150 people have finished what assault victim Tina Waddell started — the two-mile journey to walk home from the Silver Comet Trail.

Walkers, runners and bicyclists — some with children or dogs — met at the Tara Drummond Trailhead in Hiram on Saturday morning to “Take Back the Trail for Tina.”

The event was organized by Waddell’s family to support the Hiram preschool teacher and to urge the community to continue using the trail.

“(Criminals) don’t get to dictate what we do. Fear will not dictate what we do,” said Joey Waddell, Tina Waddell’s brother-in-law. “We have the right to be fit and thrive in this community.”

Joni White of Acworth had her 2-year-old triplets with her and said she was there to support the Waddell family.

“I heard about it and just couldn’t stop thinking about it,” White said. “When I heard they were doing this, I just knew we had to be out here.”

Kristen Waddell said the parking lots have been empty since Tina Waddell’s attack Tuesday and the family does not want the trail to go waste.

“We’re not gonna let him win,” Kristen Waddell said of her sister-in-law’s attacker.

Paulding County detectives believe the man, whom Tina Waddell described as a white person with dark hair, forced her into the wooded area near the bridge that spans Academy Drive and beat her.

She was dragging herself back toward the trail, police said, when Peter Skott of Acworth saw her while he was riding his bike.

Skott, who was at the walk, said he’s seen “a lot of things” with his job selling medical equipment, but “nothing like that.”

After calling 911, he tried to console Tina Waddell. “I just had my hand on her side and I (felt) her breathing and I (tried) to keep animals away from her head,” he said.

Every bone in Tina Waddell’s face had been broken, family members previously told MDJ news partner Fox 5.

Her husband, Jim, said Saturday she has been moved out of Kennestone Hospital’s intensive care unit into a regular room and her swelling has gone down. He said doctors are looking to schedule surgery this week, and while it will likely take about six hours, it may be the only surgery she requires.

Kristen Waddell said her sister-in law is “very anxious to get everything fixed and put back together” and isn’t able to see or smell.

Family members said Tina Waddell walked or ran anywhere from 2 to 5 miles on the trail a few times a week and was working toward being in a 5K race.

At times, she walked with friends or her husband, but she often was on the trail alone “because nobody could keep up with her,” Tina Waddell said.

Her family is now advising trail users to find a partner or carry mace.

As for the man who attacked her, Jim Waddell said a woman should never be treated like his wife was.

“For someone to act like a little coward and attack a woman … when we find him, we’re going to do whatever we want to do,” he said.

Comments
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Lydia South
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August 30, 2014
This story is very fishy. Don't be surprised if her husband gets arrested.
anonymous
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August 05, 2014
People that advocate carrying a gun for protection are just plain stupid in my opinion. I have a friend that carries a gun in her diaper bag. I asked her if she got attacked suddenly from behind, would she be able to ask politely Can you give me a moment while I dig my gun out? The answer to that is that AFTER you get the holy crap beat out of you and the criminal is browsing through your things to steal, he would identify your gun then and make the decison to use it or not on you. It is not safe for a woman OR A MAN to go walking anywhere that is isolated. That is just the way it is. Educate all that it is not safe to be on the Silver Comet Trail in the isolated places, and that is pure fact; anywhere, Anywhere. Cameras included. It is not safe to walk in isolated places alone..man or woman....armed or not armed. Now, if the Silver Comet Trail wants to employ public safety walkers that are on the trail every minute it is open on every inch of isolated places, that might be a solution. Cameras and guns are not the solution. Identifying isolated places where a pervert can "snatch and grab" and drag somebody into the woods like a wild animal and protecting those stretches is a solution. Make ALL of the trail VISIBLE TO THE PUBLIC. CLOSE THE PLACES THAT ARE NOT IF YOU CAN'T MAKE THEM VISIBLE TO ROADS, PEOPLE. Why somebody that designed this trail that goes into the wilderness in some places did not identify the dangers did not see this in the trail design totally baffles me.
Gragniot
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September 22, 2014
Carrying a gun in a diaper bag is not a good solution. If you choose to carry a firearm, you should keep it on your person, not in a bag. Unless the woman was knocked out cold at the first strike of the attack, a person carrying firearm properly, with basic training, would have a good chance to draw the weapon and fire at the attacker. Without knowing the details, it's likely she was grabbed, dragged some distance, and then beaten. It's a terrible thing that happened, but don't let your fear of guns be a reason for other people to not carry one.

Get the training, carry a firearm properly, and refuse to be a victim.

Phillip Evans
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August 03, 2014
"As for the man who attacked her, Jim Waddell said a woman should never be treated like his wife was."

I agree with Mr. Waddell. However, I ensure that my wife is armed with a gun when I'm not with her. Her safety is highly important to me. Not saying that Mr. Waddell doesn't highly value his wife's safety. It could just be that he never thought of arming his wife. Perhaps he will think of it now?

Why don't all husbands think of it? On the other hand, ladies arm yourselves!

anonymous
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August 05, 2014
There is another side to that coin, Phillip. You may be providing your wife with the very weapon that could be used to kill her. This man did not have a gun. He did not use a gun. He used his fists. If she had a gun, it would be up fate, God, whatever, if she had the opportunity to use that gun to save herself or if the gun was used to end her life. If you choose to toss that coin, that is your choice. My choice would be to educate all people that the world is evil and, unfortunately, we need to never be alone in places of isolation as long as we can prevent that. We saw that lesson eight years ago on this trail. My concern is that the world lives on with this evil monster is out there walking the streets.
anonymous
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August 05, 2014
I never heard of an assailant asking a woman if her husband armed her or not, on the other hand, if she is single. Simpleton. Yes, he would ask, "Do you have a gun?" Are you married?" If the answer to both of those was "yes," then he would have run like a rabbit. Gee whiz.
Be Careful
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August 03, 2014
Do not walk with earphones. You need to be aware of what is going on around you, and hear people when they approach you from behind.

If you have music blasting in your ears you are a sitting duck.

Also...mace or gun, in plain sight, no conceal stuff, let people see clearly that you are capable of defending yourself.
Southern Patriot
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August 03, 2014
"Her family is now advising trail users to find a partner or carry mace".

Forget mace.......... buy a pistol, learn to use it and shoot to kill. The recidivism rate of dead thugs is extremely low.
anonymous
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August 03, 2014
Yep.

Would also add: be very aware of your surroundings.
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