MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Coltrane Duckworth's 16th birthday was overshadowed days after the 2nd anniversary of the Shelby Farms Greenline was celebrated.
He was attacked around dusk Tuesday along the Greenline's western-most section near Tillman Street.
"They came out in front of me and threw a rock at me," said Duckworth in an exclusive interview with Action News 5.
Duckworth said a trio of teens surprised him as he rode his bike home from the skate park near the school board.
"Two of them came up on bikes and the other met on the Greenline or something," said Duckworth.
He said two of the guys grabbed him, threw him to the ground, then stomped his back making several marks.
"Then grabbed my wallet and my phone and took off on my bike," said Duckworth.
Duckworth was able to skateboard home from where his parents called police.
"Even though these types of incidents are rare," said Jen Andrews with the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. "We take them very seriously."
The conservancy oversees the Greenline and considers safety a primary concern.
"And we look forward to cooperating with law enforcement to make sure it doesn't happen again and this case gets resolved," said Andrews.
Surveillance cameras line the Greenline and one of them, coincidentally near Tillman, is connected to the police department's Real Time Crime Center.
There are also dedicated safety rangers who ride the trail.
Duckworth said he may question his safety despite the measures in place.
"Really it's just why?" said Duckworth about the attack.
Something else to keep in mind is that both Shelby Farms Park and the Greenline are only open from dawn to dusk. Officials advise you stay off the trail after dark. Meanwhile, call Crime-Stoppers with any information about Tuesday night's attack.