It appears peaceful enough - a mile or more of paved path leading to no fewer than four Katy ISD schools. Of course, looks are frequently deceiving. Just ask Tiffanee Cook.
"We thought it was a sucker punch issue with that knock out game because it was just for no reason," said Cook.
It was along the trail that Tiffanee's autistic son and his younger brother were first beaten and then robbed as they walked home from Morton Ranch High. The attackers were four other teens who stole a cell phone and left their victims stunned and bleeding along a drainage ditch within easy sight of their schools.
When Cook filed a complaint with Katy ISD Police, the Department's response left her feeling betrayed.
"It's not my problem. It's not my problem. We are not going to talk to you. It's not a KISD issue," said Cook describing the departments reluctance to get involved.
Since the crime took place 20 yards outside the boundary on a sliver of non-KISD land separating two schools, there would be no district investigation.
Cyndi Lawrence, Tiffanee's friend and a candidate for Katy ISD board, says territorial limits should never be an excuse for failing to protect children, especially those made more vulnerable by a disability.
"Katy ISD has a history of not protecting children with special needs and this is one more thing and as a Mom this infuriates me," said Lawrence who believes bus service should be re-instated so that students are less exposed to crime.
It's why Tiffanee Cook feels so compelled to speak out, both for her kids and the hundreds who will walk the path through the "no man's land" in the days and years to come.
"Well, whose problem is it ? Whose going to be held accountable when something like this happens to another child ? My child was fortunate, but something is going to happen again if something doesn't get done," said Cook.
It bears mentioning that Katy ISD Police Headquarters is located less than a mile from the crime scene.
KISD offered the following statement:
"Katy ISD Police are aware of an altercation that occurred off campus on February 12 after school at approximately 4:45 p.m. in which a Morton Ranch High School student and a Morton Ranch Junior High student were assaulted near the flood control ditch that feeds into South Mayde Creek. This case is being investigated by Harris County Sheriff Office given that the location falls within their jurisdiction and does not involve a school-related event or activity. As with any case, only one police agency can lead an investigation, therefore, this is being handled by HCSO. If any of the suspects are identified as KISD students, they will be subject to the District's disciplinary action plan."