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Friday, February 08, 2008

Man charged in bike trail attack

The Belleville News-Democrat reported today that a man has been charged in the 2006 attack of a woman on the MetroLink Bike Trail in Belleville, Ill.

The attack prompted organizers of the Tour de Belleville, a nighttime ride held in July, to use proceeds from the 2007 ride to help purchase emergency call towers for the trail.

Michael W. White, formerly of Cahokia, Ill., was charged Feb. 1 with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery and criminal sexual abuse. His bond has been set at $200,000.

The woman was jogging on the trail near McKinley Avenue the night of the attack when the suspect knocked her to the ground, got on top of her, covered her mouth with his hand and grabbed her breast, police said. He let go after she managed to kick him in the groin.

This year's Tour de Belleville is slated for Friday, July 11. Phil Elmore, the chief organizer for the event, says proceeds from this year's ride will be used to install flashing signals on the bike trail at busy intersections within the city's jurisdiction.

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