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Police investigate Bethesda tunnel attacks

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Police are investigating two attacks in a former Metro tunnel turned popular walking trail.

By most accounts, the quarter-mile of pavement is dimly lit, dingy and dismal. But, the former Metro tunnel that has run under Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda-Chevy Chase for the past 15 years has become popular among walkers, bikers and joggers.

"It's kind of creepy, but I've lived here my whole life and walked through it my whole life," resident Zoe Kostant said. "...I''m used to it."

Investigators say on two of the past four Fridays, there have been attacks in the tunnel, in which the victims were beaten and robbed.

The attacks come at a time when debate is raging over the development of the proposed 16-mile Purple line that would stretch from Bethesda to New Carrollton. Plans include light rail trains running right through the Wisconsin Avenue tunnel.

"What we need to do is build the Purple line and then there would be lots of people walking around inside the tunnel...and it would be as safe as Downtown Bethesda," said supporter Ben Ross.

Police are making more of an effort to show a presence in the area.

Opponents of the Purple line say overall this tunnel is remarkably safe.

Still, for many who use the tunnel, what has happened over the last few weeks can't help but linger in the back of their minds.

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