Community Post

I was mugged and you stayed in your house.!3{2}Why?

Tonight, around 11:50 pm, I was walking home on 32nd Ave. I was mugged in front of 810 32nd Ave. I shouted for help several times, scaring off my three assailants. I didn’t get a look at them.

Nobody came outside to see what was going on.

I called the police; officer Evans took my report. He said it might have been related to a similar incident earlier in the night. Officer Evans also said that they had received “a bunch” of 911 calls from people in the houses around me. So my shouts for help didn’t go unnoticed. You just stayed inside.

My assailants ran off. If you had come outside to see what was going on, you might have prevented it happening to a third person tonight. When this happens to you, you’ll wonder why your neighbors didn’t come outside. It will. Eventually.

I’m disappointed in you. Seriously. Come on people, you can do better than this.

0 thoughts on “I was mugged and you stayed in your house.!3{2}Why?

  1. that I do not live near there or I would have come out. I’m sorry that you don’t know or have not met people on your normal route home. I’m sorry if they are always inside when you go by.

    Right now if I were you I’d be screaming at the walls. But I’d get over it. And try to prevent it in future. Our August night out party involves nearly nine square blocks. I also make a point of walking around my neighborhood on weekends so I know people and I’m out in my garden.

    Might I be mugged? Sure. Might no one come out? Probably, it is not likely they would even hear. Might there be a door I can knock on within reach? I sure as heck am making sure of that.

    I’m glad the police responded and they might have a line on this.

    TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Do something healthy and good tomorrow. Please?

  2. Yea nice. Did you get to chorus night? Or the Labor Program? Doesn’t matter it is all great. Enjoy and happy memorial day!

  3. Thanks. I did get punched in the forehead, but I’m okay now. No lasting damage, at least.

  4. Hope you had a better day today, Duncan. Sorry, neighbor.
    I don’t live near there, but I have called 911 on occasion when I heard a ruckus outside. Yes, I stayed inside and called 911. I’m the mom of a young son, and don’t want him to lose his mother. Even if she’s being a hero. Sometimes I’ve gone outside, but usually not until I felt it was safe. I hear gunshots or fighting, and I hide.
    After hearing this, though, I’m thinking about how I can do things differently. For example, I can blow my car horn from the safety of my house, using my key fob. I can look outside and see whether it’s safe to yell out the window… if I shout that I have a camera, and the cops are on their way, that might stop them. Most criminals don’t want to be seen. I might be able to safely go outside and throw an object nearby, to distract or startle the assailants.
    This all sounds lame, but better than what I have been doing. Any other ideas about how to safely help in a situation like this? I hate to ask this (because they’ll probably say hide and call 911), but what would the police suggest?
    Would anything like that have helped you the other night, Duncan?

  5. Although not an extreme reaction as “ted” there, really…as horrid as it is, stuff like this HAPPENS when you live in an inner city area and are walking alone at night.

    As much as it also sucks, a lot of people (like elsewhere with her child) have to look out for their OWN safety as well. Yes, it’s awful that you were mugged, but people called 911. They have their OWN safety to think about, not just yours. Instead of wasting your energy ranting on the interwebs, perhaps you should think of ways to prevent this happening to yourself in the future.

  6. The SPD tells citizens to call 911 and to stay safe when witnessing a crime, and it sounds like that’s what everyone did. I have found, however, that the vermin will scatter a little faster if I lean out a front window and shout “I just called 911!”

    The last thing you want is some dude to come running out of his house with a weapon and mistaking you for one of the attackers.

  7. I’m a single mother with two kids. When I hear trouble outside, stupidly or not, I go check it out — I feel compelled to find out what’s going on. If it looks bad, I call the police. I would’ve done the same as Duncan, yelled my head off and I would’ve expected my neighbors to come outside and help me. Horrible feeling to be attacked and nobody comes to help. Really bad feeling. Duncan, I’m glad you’re OK.

  8. Sorry to hear about your problem and no one “deserves” to be mugged but can you elaborate on how it went down?
    Were they hanging out on a corner, walking up to you or did they sneak up on you? Wearing headphones, on the phone, distracted in another way? Is this a normal route for you, normal time? Out drinking last night? None of this should matter but it might help others as we all get a little too comfortable at times and drop our guard. I’ve been jumped twice and it really sucks but there was really nothing that I could of been done. My life isn’t driven by fear hiding in my house.

    I would suggest getting mace and remember, these losers need a group of friends to be tough.

    You won’t have this problem around my house, I’ll call the police and do whatever I can to at least distract these clowns while police are enroute. After my second beating I decided I couldn’t just sit back in the future. Once I yelled at a car thief and he dropped the property he stole and my neighbor go it back. Another time I was out late night biking with a friend in another city and we heard what turned out to be a mugging in an alley. 6 guys walked out of the alley followed by the severely beaten, very bloody victim questioning why he had been beaten, he gave them his valubles. Two of these tough guys walked right by us as we described them to a 911 operator but 2 on 2 aren’t conflicts they want. We followed a block behind as these guys headed towards a busier part of town. We rode ahead and pointed the two out to a police captain working the door to a popular bar. He stated “I know those two a$$#$les” and walked over and put them in cuffs. The victim came and identifed them on his way to the hospital. The police were very appreciative and stated more than likely no one would of been caught without our assistance. We often stopped by and chatted with the captain on our late night bike rides. No one told the victim he deserved it and should of stayed home.

  9. Hmmm. . .

    I love walking but perhaps if people ride bikes when they can it would make it easier to avoid problems like this. We should not have to but it’s an idea.

  10. is the prudent thing to do. During a disturbance if I can determine that there is a clear victim or know the person I eventually go outside, but at 11:50 PM I would most likely be in my PJs and prioritize calling 911 and giving them any details I observe.

    Your comments make it clear that if it is safe for all giving comfort to the victim is important. I hope the rest of your weekend has been good.

  11. I don’t run that late at night, usually we go around dusk. I guess I’ll have to pick a different running circuit – one through a less crazy neighborhood.

    Someday one of these violent kids is going to pick on the wrong person, or someone with a friend in tow – it will be an ugly scene. Maybe that would grab the attention of their parents/families.

  12. You must work within your community to deal with these problems in a positive way. Remember, every one of gods creatures has the right of self defense.

  13. While I can’t guarantee that I’d be brave enough to go out and actually do something, I’d definitely call the cops and turn on some lights. The more you can let thugs know that people are noticing what’s going on, the better.

    When I lived in the Pike/Pine back when it was really sketchy, my neighbors and I would bang on potlids and flash lights when we saw stuff happening. It didn’t solve the problem, but it helped, at least in our little corner.

  14. …SPD often tells 911 callers to stay inside.

    Recently, after I heard gunshots, my first reaction was to walk outside. Instead, a miracle happened and I called the cops first, but I still planned on going outside, figuring they aren’t probably hanging around, waiting to get caught. But the dispatch requested that I stay inside.

    Also, keep in mind it is 11:50pm, so some folks might have been in bed. That said, I am a bit shocked nobody came out to check it out.

    Sorry to hear about this. Never fun.

  15. … a conceal carry weapon. I’m serious. The economy is getting bad and the CD is ESPECIALLY bad during the summer and muggings/home invasions are commonplace. I remember being accosted last year by a teenage kid whacked out on some kind of drug. My girlfriend and I were running full force to the front door of our apartment building and the punk chased us right up to the door and we just managed to close it on him. That was definitely the last straw, as I’d rather not put my safety and the safety of my family in the hands of a thug. Remember, having a ccw is about preventing crimes before they start and diffusing the situation. Most incidents are resolved without a single shot fired, and one should pull a weapon only when he or she fears serious bodily harm. Be smart, if a punk simply wants your wallet or your ipod, its not worth someone getting shot if you can simply throw it on the ground and step away.

    The issue of conceal carry needs to be viewed pragmatically. Ultimately, it is not about the NRA, it is not about liberals v. conservatives (I’m the former). It is about making the conscious decision not to be a victim. This is not fear-mongering. The threat of being mugged/robbed/etc. is very real in the CD.

    I also advocate taking a pistol-defense course if you’re considering ccw as a serious option.

  16. First of all, let me say I am so sorry you were mugged. As someone who was assaulted directly as I stepped off the bus while the driver sat there and did nothing, I know how you feel.
    At the same time, I feel a little wierd about mentioning a specific address in a forum like this. Your anger deserves to be directed at the muggers, you have no idea who was at home at the address mentioned (They could have been little old ladies) or what their state of mind was at the time. I guess I just feel like if people start calling each other out by specific address, this whole thing could get ugly. Imagine “My neighbors at 14xx never mow their lawn.”
    That being said, people who blame the victim are really counterproductive in these discussions. A law abiding citizen SHOULD be able to walk down the street at any time of day or night and feel safe.

  17. Hey Duncan
    THis sucks and we are upset that we weren’t home at the time this happend to you as this is our house and if we had heard to yell for help we would have been out with baseball bats. Our house was robbed two years ago and are vigilant in protecting the neighborhood. We are TIRED of feeling like we have to live under lock and key, house alarms, and fear!
    I am sorry this happened to you!

  18. . . . but we didn’t hear anything. I am really frustrated. We need neighborhood organization and police presence. I was so fortunate as to see a gaggle of our finest having coffee at Tully’s a few hours ago.

  19. Gosh, with all due respect, I take issue with a couple of points you raise: There are several established block watches/neighborhood organizations up in those neighborhoods — talk to your neighbors. There are also a lot of cops around here all the time. What’s wrong with cops taking a coffee break other than it plays into the stereotype of lazy police? From the scanner reports it seems like there’s a pattern emerging of increased criminal activity in the quarter between Cherry/Union and MLK/34th Ave. Probably it’s just a few people causing problems — but they are troublesome. Let’s all keep an eye out for each other.

  20. Duncan:

    First off, I’m really sorry to hear you got jacked up. I wasn’t there, I don’t know your situation, and I’m not going to Monday Morning Quarterback your actions. However if you look at the scanner reports or go to the E Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition meetings and hear about the muggings that have been going on in the E Precinct, there are several common behaviors of people that are getting mugged on the streets. I don’t profess to be an expert, I’m not some self defense guru, but situational awareness and how you’re perceived is a big factor in how criminals choose their victims.

    If you read up about the strong arm robberies that have been occuring in the CD and areas near Seattle University, there are a lot of commonalities.

    1. Victim is walking alone.

    2. Victim is often talking or texting on a cell phone while walking, listening to a portable mp3 player, or carrying a purse over their shoulder instead of across the body.

    3. Criminal usually attempts to engage the victim with an innocuous comment such as, “Hey, do you know what time it is,” or “Hey, can I borrow your phone to make a phone call,” or “Hey, did you see a guy walking around here with a red jacket on?”

    Quick remedies for any of these points:

    1. Don’t walk alone late at night. Just like in college, have a buddy with you. Let people know where you are, when you’re coming home, what route you’re taking, and how long it should take you to get there.

    2. Don’t advertise what you have. Check Facebook or Twitter when you get home. Street robbery criminals are looking for high dollar items that are portable, disposable, and can be easily hocked off somewhere else. Things such as cell phones, your cool flashy iPod, your nifty eNotebook that can be carried in a shoulderbag.

    If you’re engaged in conversation on your phone, texting, that sort of thing, you’re not tuned into what’s going on around you. It’s going to be a lot easier for me to sneak up on you, flank you, and put you in a bad physical position if you’re talking on your phone and not paying attention to what is going on around you. I can also see what you’ve got that’s worth taking. All I have to do is give you a really sharp punch to the base of the back your neck while you’re not paying attention and I KNOW I can grab that phone and run before the stars clear from your eyes. Also, if you’re on the phone or texting, your hands are occupied, and you’re going to be much less likely to be able to throw your hands up to defend yourself. You might as well be walking with your hands in your pockets and expect to be able to keep me from punching you in the nose.

    3. Spontaneous conversation is a distraction technique used to do two things; a) catch you off guard and make you focus on what’s being said to you and not what the distractor’s accomplices are doing, b) stop you from doing what you were doing so now you have to play reaction time catch-up.

    “Hey man, you know what time it is?”

    “About one thirty or so.” KEEP WALKING. Cross the street, don’t walk in a straight line , change your pattern so THEY have to play reaction time catch up.

    Experts may disagree with me here, but I believe in looking people in the eye for the following reasons:

    1. Eye contact means “I see you.” You’re not trying to get into a staring contest or some macho alpha male chest thumping contest. It just means “I see you and I’m not afraid to look you in the eye.”

    I can tell if you’re intimidated by me by your body language. Averting your gaze or refusing to look at others does a couple of things: If you’re intimidated to look at me, I’m going to take it as a sign of weakness. If I’m a criminal, that means you’re a good candidate for my next victim. If you’re too intimidated to look at me, you’re not going to see my face, you’re not going to know if I have a beard, glasses, whether I’m Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, or a Martian. You might see what kind of shoes I wear, but that’s not going to do you a lot of good. In fact, I’m counting on it. I’m counting on you being scared, or demonstrating by your body language that you’re submissive…which is why I chose you as my victim in the first place.

    One of the above posters mentioned getting a CPL and a concealed carry weapon. Serious talk, and a serious but worthwhile consideration. If you do decide to arm yourself, before you even consider purchasing a firearm or getting trained, have a down and dirty, honest conversation with yourself. Decide if you’re the person that could actually take another person’s life in defense of your own. Be honest. There’s no right or wrong answer, there’s just the right answer for you.

    Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE should carry a flashlight. I don’t mean a dinky little keychain light so you don’t scratch the finish on your car, I mean a real flashlight. There are a lot of flashlight makers out there that make high quality personal flashlights that are small enough to slip into a purse of jacket pocket that operate at 60+ lumens, more than enough to blind a would-be-assailant, destroy their night vision, and buy you some precious time to make a sprint for it. A traffic whistle on your keychain isn’t a bad idea either, for those of you who don’t believe/can’t carry a lethal or less-than-lethal self protection tool.

    Check out:

    Hopefully some food for thought. The bottom line for me, is that when it boils down to it, there really are two types of people when it comes to personal safety: those that take responsibility for their safety and well being into their own hands, and those that expect someone else to do it for them. Which one are you?

  21. I agree with Lucky13, and I’ll further add that complaints about the cops on comment boards seems to be far more commonplace than active citizen involvement. Too many people limit their neighborhood participation to freaking out about either a perceived lack or excess of police enforcement in the CD.

  22. That’s one of the best comments I’ve read in a while. Thanks. I was composing a text message, but I put my phone away when I heard people behind me. I should have crossed the street; then I think I would have been able to get away. I’ll keep that all in mind for later.

  23. That would’ve been good, someone turning on a porch light even would have been welcome.

  24. That’s about what my opinion is. I’ve started cycling more in the past few days.

  25. So every time I hear screaming, shouting, gun fire in the CD I’m supposed to come running? That would be a lot of work.

  26. How rude of you to call Duncan an idiot. We should be able to walk outside. This is our neighborhood right? We should all be able to be outside. You do not even know why he was outside. And getting involved can be as simple as opening your door. No one had to go running up to the assailants. Simply the threat that others have noticed the activity will scare most assailants away. A lot can happen in the two or so minutes for the police to respond and the jack a____ that attacked may have been caught. Think if this was your mother, child or self on the street and no one bothered to help.

    That being said, everyone should take a basic course in self defense. No gun required when you show that YOU DO HAVE THE WILL to protect yourself. Its simple, its basic and requires absolutely no permit. I have had to use it before. It was me against three other guys (amazing how it takes three to try and beat up the other person.) Once they saw that i was not going down without a fight they instantly backed down.
    And I do agree, text or call later if you are in a possibly precarious situation as you may get hurt- or if you are driving you may hurt someone else.

  27. Just wow. When are more people in the CD going to wake up and realize that no amount of posting on the interwebs is going to affect the crime rate in the neighborhood? Year in and year out the crime rate increases or remains relatively the same. I hear the same arguments that “Seattle is a large city” and that this fact somehow justifies the crime rate. However, keep in mind that the CD is but one small part of Seattle proper, yet is where an overwhelming amount of violence/crime occurs per capita, especially home invasions.

    Time in and time out I see perfectly pragmatic posts that try to offer real solutions get voted down or outright dismissed because they advocate personal defense. Particularly, the use of weapons that may potentially cause harm to an attacker are especially loathed. Violence in this neighborhood is real. The summer has just begun. Expect an exponential increase in burglaries. Expect an increase in loitering and drug dealing right in front of your homes. Expect more muggings. These are constants; they are as much a part of the CD as the Catfish Corner.

    That said, consider taking responsibility for your own personal safety and that of your family. This neighborhood needs proactive citizens that are willing to stand up to these thugs.