Police have ordered the temporary closure of a park in North Carolina after they discovered dozens of nails on the ground they believe were purposely placed to cause injuries.
The sharp, galvanized nails in Pinnacle Park, located in Jackson County, North Carolina, came to the attention of police after a runner impaled his foot on one, CBS reports. Since the initial incident, dozens of nails have been found hammered into tree roots and logs, which authorities say were placed intentionally.
Pinnacle Park, about 162 miles west of Charlotte, was closed after around 60 nails were found on the park's trails, according to WSPA. The park reportedly reopened to the public on Feb. 21.
"On Saturday we found eight in an isolated area and thought we had it contained, but when we explored more, we found it was more than we could handle ourselves and I called the police chief," said Brian Barwatt, a Department of Transportation engineer, USA Today reports.
"We're literally blowing every leaf off [the] trail, and following behind with metal detectors," Barwatt added. "It was a deliberate effort. Someone hammered 4-inch long galvanized nails and left them sticking out a half to one inch, and at an angle so they're like spikes."
"It's hard to believe someone would do this and put a lot of effort in to doing this," said Barwatt. "We want to assure people we're taking this very seriously and taking care of it swiftly."
One runner had his foot impaled by a nail on Feb. 11, Detective Doug Farmer said, and another park visitor stepped on a nail that went through his shoe but did not pierce his foot.
Officials are reportedly seeking to make sure that the park's 3.5 mile-long trails are safe before the Black Rock Summit race on March 18.
Officials are offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who provides information that helps lead police to the person who placed the nails.