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Katy Trail Open Carry Rally Comes On Heels Of Robberies Arrests

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Two men accused of robbing joggers on a popular Dallas running trail remain behind bars.

The robberies along the Katy Trail happened at all times of day. The arrests have brought a sense of relief to those in the area and while people spent the last two weeks looking over their shoulders, early Friday morning there were residents out cycling, running and walking dogs.

Police say Daray Robinson, 21, and Jamaciay Smith, 17, were behind the robberies. Robinson reportedly admitted to his involvement in one of the robberies and a victim identified Smith in a line up.

Robinson was arrested in Fannin County on an unrelated charge on November 6. Dallas police arrested Smith, who is Robinson's roommate at an apartment adjacent to the Katy Trail, Thursday morning.

Between October 29 and November 1 police say the pair held up five people at gunpoint. Police say some of the property stolen from victims actually helped them find the robbers. The GPS on a stolen cell phone helped lead officers to the accused robbers. There was also surveillance video of what police say is one of the suspects using a stolen ATM card after one of the robberies.

Both Robinson and Smith are facing charges for Aggravated Robbery.

While crime concerns may have been quieted, this weekend you may find people in workout clothing, running shoes, and toting rifles. That's because, an activist group is holding an open carry rally/walk on the trail.

The rally is called Armed Walk for Lives and organizers say it was born out of concern after the string of violence and crime in the area. Organizers say people would be safer with guns and during the walk will argue that Texas gun-free zones become victim-killing zones.

Come and Take It Texas, the group behind the rally, said that it is not the public who should be in fear of Saturday's event -- it is the criminal. "Right now, if they believe the public is unarmed, not protecting themselves, they have a place to go and create crime," said Matthew Short. "But if the public is protecting themselves, then the criminal will go and fear the armed public, and it will actually lower crime."

But some trail users like Kathryn Moffitt disagree with the concept. "I definitely would not feel safer if that were the case. I tend to run alone a lot on the Trail, and that would be scary," she said.

Others view the open carry group differently. Bryce Nayden said, "I'm kind of under the assumption right now that anyone that's walking around could have a gun with them. I mean having it out in the open, I guess, is better than having it concealed."

The group is asking people who join in the walk to keep rifles on a sling and pistols holstered. Dallas police will be monitoring the event.

While acknowledging that open carry advocates are within their rights, the Friends of the Katy Trail, the trail's non-profit support organization, is urging people on Facebook to avoid the south end during the Saturday rally.

The open carry group plans to meet at Reverchon Park on Saturday, November 14 and the Armed Walk for Lives will take place from 2-4 p.m.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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