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2 reported sexual assaults in Livermore were hoaxes

Women recant charges they were attacked separately on Arroyo Trail

Two reported sexual assaults on the Arroyo Trail in Livermore last week were hoaxes, Livermore police said Friday.

The first assault was reported on Tuesday, when a 29-year-old woman reported an assault occurring around 6 p.m. on the trail near Arroyo Road. The woman, who was reportedly treated for injuries after the incident, recanted her story late Thursday after investigators reviewed the evidence they had with her, police said Friday.

Then on Friday morning, a 23-year-old woman recanted her story of a sexual assault that took place Thursday at about 7:50 p.m. Again, the victim recanted her story after police reviewed the evidence they had with her.

Police would not disclose what evidence they obtained in the cases.

Livermore police said officers patrol the Arroyo Trail and spend time contacting suspicious people, arranging for the removal of excessive vegetation and graffiti and helping residents who live adjacent to the trail improve or maintain their quality of life.

Livermore police Lt. John Hurd said there have been no sexual assaults along Arroyo Trail in recent history, but there have been three reported incidents of sexual batteries on or near the trail in the last three years.

Sexual battery refers to the grabbing of a victim whereas sexual assault refers to crimes such as rape, Hurd said.

In discussing the incidents, Hurd said that Livermore police encourage anyone needing mental health services to ask for help.

Alameda County has a variety of mental health providers available at low cost and no cost. Anyone seeking mental health help is encouraged to call 211, which is a free, non-emergency, confidential, 3-digit phone number and service that provides easy access to housing information, and critical health and human services. The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week with multi-lingual capabilities.

While the two reported sexual assault cases were hoaxes, the Livermore Police Department reminded the public to be aware of their surroundings and proactive in reporting suspicious behavior or occurrences. The police department also offered safety tips for those walking in Livermore.

- Be alert and aware of what is occurring around you.

- Don't wear headphones covering both ears making it so you cannot hear what is occurring around you.

- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid unlit locations and areas secluded from public view.

- Walk with another person whenever possible.

- Carry a cellular telephone. Program the direct phone number to Liver more Police Dispatch at (925)371-4987.

- Report suspicious persons and behavior to the police.

Bay City News contributed to this story.

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