ATTACKED

LPSF,

A few minutes ago, I took the stairs to my apartment on the tenth floor of
my run-down, rent-controlled hellhole on Sutter street. When I got to the top
of the stairs, two men came after me and threaten to beat the hell out of me.
I was afraid they were going to throw me over the railing and have me fall
ten stories to my death. Fortunately, I got away from them.

On my way out of the building, I banged on a neighbors door and the resident
manager's door to get help but either nobody was home or did not want to get
involved. Of course, nobody helped me. I called 9-1-1 and ten minutes later
the police showed up.

Of the two men that threaten me, one was White and one was Black. When the
police arrived I calmly answered their questions, showed identification and
told them what happened. I complained about the aggressors as a team, not as
individuals and did not mention race other than to give a description of both
men. The police officer that interviewed me asked if I am from the South. When
I told him yes, I got a short lecture about how Southern Whites need to learn
how to get along with Blacks, then the officer left.

My point in mentioning this nightmare is this: (1) gun control does not
work. It is OSHA for criminals. (2) Even in the best circumstances, 9-1-1 does
not work; it cannot work. If I had not gotten away from these thugs, I'm certain
I would have taken a beating and been robbed, if not killed. (3) You can
only count on yourself to protect yourself. The police and your neighbor and
9-1-1 might have the best of intentions, but they are not always standing at
your side ready to protect you. (4) If the police ever had any decency and ever
served the public, political-correctness has destroyed any virtue that
existed in the police force. At best, police are crime historians; they do not
protect and serve. (5) Arm yourself with whatever is legal and you think will
serve you best; you never know when you will need it.

The problem with arming yourself or even using your bare hands to defend
yourself is that it's probably illegal to defend yourself from an attack in
America!

Sincerely,

Don

Don Fields wrote:

Fortunately, I got away from them.

The problem with arming yourself or even using your bare hands to defend
yourself is that it's probably illegal to defend yourself from an attack
in
America!

Don, I'm glad you wrote to the group about this. In the self-defense
classes I teach, one important thing is to seek emotional support, because
however an encounter ends, it is always stressful. I am very glad to hear
that you are safe, if understandably rattled.

The principles of self-defense are the same whether you're armed or
unarmed: think about where you're going and what you're doing ahead of
time, pay attention to your surroundings, trust your instincts, don't be
afraid to look like a sissy or an idiot by avoiding trouble. Common sense
stuff, but good to keep in mind.

A few people on this list have taken the self-defense course that Triangle
Martial Arts offers; if anyone else is interested, please let me know.

As far as the legality of self-defense goes: the doctrine is "minimum
necessary force." It will ultimately be up to a jury to decide what that
is, but if you legitimately believe your life to be in danger, then lethal
force is justified. If you believe your possessions to be in danger, then
it is generally not, though some states (not California) have passed
"stand your ground" laws, a/k/a "Dirty Harry" laws, which say otherwise.
That's still not recommended, though; the risk of injury remains high, and
your stuff is just not worth it.

I am very sorry you had a negative experience with the police. I am sure
you were stressed out while dealing with them, but did you happen to get
their names or badge numbers? Whether you did or not, you may want to go
to the local police station and file a report, including the officers'
behavior; you may also want to bring it up with the Police Commission or
the local media. A letter to the _Examiner_, the _Bay Guardian_, or _SF
Weekly_ might get published, or one of those muckraking features on the
local TV news might be interested. You can probably get the officers'
names from the police station in connection with filing a report,
especially if you want to thank them rather than complain about them; I'm
not sure about that.

(This is, incidentally, one weakness of our police redeployment proposal:
you patrol the streets with the police you have, not the police you wish
you had, and the police we have are of widely varying quality.)

Again, it sounds like you did the best you could in the situation. Keep
an eye out for the same guys in your neighborhood. Also, program
415-553-8090 in your cell phone on speed dial; that's the San Francisco
emergency dispatch number, but it's a lot more reliable than dialing 911
from a cell phone.

~Chris

Don:

I'm extremely sorry to hear about your attack. I'm currently making
plans to leave the City myself, just because I was attacked a few blocks
last Wednesday evening. This was the second attack near my house, and
the third in San Francisco. The police said I was probably being
targeted; these guys (black and Latino teenagers, with adult help) watch
the neighborhood to learn the patterns, who is going where and when.
They had no advice except to vary my routine--but all routes converge on
my house, which is where the attacks keep occurring. The guys in my
neighborhood work in teams of three, putting their fastest runner in
front and two biggers guys following for the heavy work. There is no
legal way to defend yourself against three attackers in San Francisco,
and the muggers know that. Since there is also no effective police
protection, they know they can get away with practically anything. So I
don't expect the situation to improve.

Mike

P.S.: Anyone who knows of safe apartments in Marin or elsewhere, let me
know!

Dear Don,

What a horrible experience you have suffered! First you are attacked
and then offended by the very people who are supposed to protect
you. But, thank goodness you got out of this physically unharmed.

I concur with the suggestion that we should do whatever we can to
help defend ourselves. Taking a self defense course, as Chris
suggested, is an excellent idea. Carrying a gun, in this town, I
don't know...

Regards,

Marcy
  

LPSF,

A few minutes ago, I took the stairs to my apartment on the tenth

floor of

my run-down, rent-controlled hellhole on Sutter street. When I got

to the top

of the stairs, two men came after me and threaten to beat the hell

out of me.

I was afraid they were going to throw me over the railing and have

me fall

ten stories to my death. Fortunately, I got away from them.

On my way out of the building, I banged on a neighbors door and

the resident

manager's door to get help but either nobody was home or did not

want to get

involved. Of course, nobody helped me. I called 9-1-1 and ten

minutes later

the police showed up.

Of the two men that threaten me, one was White and one was Black.

When the

police arrived I calmly answered their questions, showed

identification and

told them what happened. I complained about the aggressors as a

team, not as

individuals and did not mention race other than to give a

description of both

men. The police officer that interviewed me asked if I am from the

South. When

I told him yes, I got a short lecture about how Southern Whites

need to learn

how to get along with Blacks, then the officer left.

My point in mentioning this nightmare is this: (1) gun control does

not

work. It is OSHA for criminals. (2) Even in the best circumstances,

9-1-1 does

not work; it cannot work. If I had not gotten away from these

thugs, I'm certain

I would have taken a beating and been robbed, if not killed. (3)

You can

only count on yourself to protect yourself. The police and your

neighbor and

9-1-1 might have the best of intentions, but they are not always

standing at

your side ready to protect you. (4) If the police ever had any

decency and ever

served the public, political-correctness has destroyed any virtue

that

existed in the police force. At best, police are crime historians;

they do not

protect and serve. (5) Arm yourself with whatever is legal and you

think will

serve you best; you never know when you will need it.

The problem with arming yourself or even using your bare hands to

defend

yourself is that it's probably illegal to defend yourself from an

attack in

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Yes. Both recent attacks were on Cabrillo near 40th. I think there's
some surveillance of foot traffic going on around 25th, and that they're
mostly interested in the quieter area west of there.

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Derek Jensen wrote:

With the closure of teh Albertsons at California and 32nd, I often go to
the
Safeway right next to the ocean. Something in that whole area feels a bit
unsafe to me. I can't quite describe it, but it feels much more unsafe
than
where I live at 20th and California, where I work at Pine and Kearny, and
even more unsafe than the Haight. I can't really describe why though.

I can take a shot at it; my neighborhood, on the south side of the park,
is similar.

The beach and the park have a lot of transients living there. They are
not generally responsible for violent crime, but our instincts start
rattling when people are acting irrationally around us, and it makes the
scene feel unsafe. Moreover, with the transients comes an increase in
petty crime, vandalism, shoplifting, and with other folks just hanging
around, possibly looking for trouble. It's part of the whole "quality of
life" package, which is yet another reason to reform the welfare state so
that homeless people can get the help they really need.

~Chris

I was interested in your report yesterday, Chris, that the muggers in my
neighborhood might be coming from yours. In fact, the car that brought
the muggers who assaulted me last year had come across the Park on the
Chain of Lakes Road, and had seen me cross 43rd on Cabrillo. I assumed
they had come originally from the Mission, since they were Latino (I
think), and were merely moving on to the Richmond after having done the
Sunset. I hadn't realized that your neighborhood might be their home.

Mike Acree wrote:

I was interested in your report yesterday, Chris, that the muggers in my
neighborhood might be coming from yours. In fact, the car that brought
the muggers who assaulted me last year had come across the Park on the
Chain of Lakes Road, and had seen me cross 43rd on Cabrillo. I assumed
they had come originally from the Mission, since they were Latino (I
think), and were merely moving on to the Richmond after having done the
Sunset. I hadn't realized that your neighborhood might be their home.

Well, I don't think they *live* here, but I think they may hang out here.
At night, the corner at 46th & Judah is a major hangout for all sorts of
folks; it's the intersection of the N-Judah and the 18-46th Ave. lines,
and the 7-Eleven is open all night. But most of the yute hanging out in
this neighborhood are white, Asian, or black; not so many Hispanics.

~Chris