Sunday, November 29, 2009

mustaches and muggers

I was going to write about all the cool things happening this month -- an agent is interested in a rewrite of my YA novel, I'm almost finished with another YA NaNoWriMo 1st draft, I'm growing a mustache for kids*, and some other things I can't remember -- but instead I guess I'll tell you about almost getting mugged a few minutes ago.

What? Why are you writing this instead of talking to the police, you ask. Well, I got into my building and it's 12:37 a.m. and I don't want to have to wait for the cops to come and take a report that won't lead anywhere.

So here's how it happened:

It was a nice night so I decided to go for a walk. I used to do that all the time in San Francisco and even in Temescal. Seemed fine, I even left my wallet at home, just in case I got mugged (although I hear it's not good to not have something to give the nice muggers). It was nice and quiet up there above Park Blvd, where all the ritzy houses are. I got some good thinking done, stretched the legs, great, right? I did get a little nervous when walking across the bridge above the highway, remembering when H. got mugged years ago while walking over Geary Street at night, but there was no one out there and I figured I could always hop over the railing into the street, since there was little to no traffic. Plus, it feels so free standing over the freeway at night, the cars whizzing under you, all those people going places that you aren't (hmm).

Anyway, I got a little lost on the way back, but the houses were so nice and the streets so quiet that I didn't mind. Finally, I found 28th Street and that led to Park and I was almost home. But I figured I'd walk up 8th Ave instead of go down another block on Park until 7th Ave, since it would be a prettier view. Big mistake, apparently.

I was almost to my building when I saw a person walking towards me. I figured I would cross over, not really thinking much of it, since I was at the point to cross anyways. But then they started crossing over and I realized they were both wearing black hoodies. One of them pointed up and maybe said "spread out," and that's when I took off. Thankfully, I was heading downhill instead of going uphill or I would've been screwed. Out of my peripheral vision, I saw the one guy pull something out of his pocket and as I zipped by him he swung it at me.

I kept running but he was running right behind me, and it was impossible to tell how closely. I noticed there was a white new car double-parked in front of my building and I thought for a second that I should stop them for help. It's lucky I didn't since that was the getaway car.

As I got to Park, I couldn't hear the guy behind me anymore. But then I realized that what I'd been running to -- Dave's -- wasn't open anymore. Would I have to keep running until I got to Baggy's by the Bay or whatever it is called? Or would they jump in the car and come after me?

I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. And as I tried to tell them what had happened, I peaked up 7th Ave and saw that the car was coming down towards me. I thought about where I would run next. Could I make it back to my place, going uphill? I could never seem to get my keys out fast regularily, so now might be even harder. Should I hide?

Just then the car peeled out, turning up and away from me.

The police were very nice. The 911 caller was very expedient. My hands were shaking when I got inside the apartment.

Why live in a neighborhood where kids try to wack you on the head when you go for a walk?

In cheerier news, Dylan's got a new holiday video that seems inspired by spiked rum punch.

*Here's where you can donate for my mustache.


Maggie said...

Drag on nearly getting mugged! I'm impressed by the presence of mind you recount as this unfolded.

Very glad you're relatively unharmed. Do you think getting your own black hoodie for these walks would help protect you?

Maggie said...

Oh--meant to say I can't bring myself to listen to a Bob Dylan Christmas. Is it horrible?

wendy said...

DANG Dan. That's a scary story. I'm glad you're ok.

ps: for you and others, you might consider putting the Oakland emergency number on your phone speed dial. 911 on a cell goes to highway patrol: I had bad luck with it the time April and I saw a kid pass out at Los Cantaros, and looked it up. (510) 777-3211 will get you the dispatcher, who will find a car near you. (I put it under my speed dial for 9, since the instinct is 911).

prattler said...

there have been a few muggings reported in temescal over the last week, a handful of burglaries, and even one carjacking. at least one of the burglaries was done by an oakland tech hs student (he was caught by posting the stolen merch on CL using his email address...yes, with his real name in it).

so yeah, brave groups of young dudes rolling people for not-much money (pushing one woman down from behind and breaking her teeth on the sidewalk) before they jump into cars and scream away. glad you are okay.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear you outwitted them. those ritzy neighborhoods can be dens for scoundrels wanting to thwart the facial hair growth of unwitting Mustaches for Kids donors.

Dan said...

I don't think a black hoodie will help much, but pepper spray might! Hello, stocking stuffer.

Last place I lived in was in Temescal and the building got broken into twice in a year, and the second time someone saw high schoolers jumping out a window. I can't believe they caught that kid - what an idiot! Wish the guy who got my computer was as dumb.

Thanks for the number, Wendy.

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