Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mugging examples and what to do to avoid them

My wife went to the gym yesterday and some acquaintances told her of muggings they have recently suffered.
These occurred during daytime, the first during the morning and the second one about 4 PM. Keep in mind that this is my neighborhood, what is considered “very good” in local terms since we have private security in most of the street corners. These incidents occur usually in the blocks that still don’t have security, when the guard left momentarily for whatever reason (bathroom for example) or it just occurs in spite of the guards, the mugging being pretty fast.
In the first case this woman was walking calmly in the sidewalk. As she passed by a young kid walking the opposite direction, this kid about 14 or so simply turned around hit her in the back of the head, sending her to the floor. She was dizzy and had a hard time getting up. she said she started chasing this kid that took her purse before she realized she had a hard time keeping her balance. “ I can barely stand, what the heck am I doing chasing this mugger?” She said to my wife.
In the second case, a couple, man and woman, walking on the same sidewalk but opposite direction, both young, well dressed, fake surprise as they get near the victim “Oh! How are you doing!? Its been so long since we last saw you!”. Before the women even has a chance to figure out if she knows them, they both close in and hug her. As the couple hugs the surprised woman, she feels an object pressed against her side as someone whispers in her ear “If you move I shoot you”. She stays put, her purse is taken away from her, and the couple walks away. To the eyes of people just a few yards away, the scene is just a woman that happened to come across a couple old friends.

What to do?

These are probably the hardest type of crime to avoid. If the criminal acts normal, dresses well, you simply don’t have any warning signs because its just a person like everybody else. He’s not a dirty junky or gang member, but Average Joe and Soccer mom walking around.
When streets are fairly deserted and someone approaches, what I do is no matter what, if it’s people coming close I accept the possibility of them being up to no good. I just don’t like having people walk on my back, the sounds of footsteps coming from the blind spot feels uncomfortable. What I do is slow around, move towards the street (don’t do it in the other direction or you corner yourself) so as to leave enough space for the person to pass while I turn towards him. Usually it makes people feel uncomfortable when you do so but I try pretending I’m looking at something else or crossing the street. I’m not talking of hostile body language or anything, just moving to a side to leave space, stopping and turning toward them. Most people will think its strange but just hurry pass you. If it’s a criminal he may just be surprised and look for someone less aware, or if he goes for it at least you have more space to either run or fight. In any case you’re not caught by surprise and that’s good.
If its someone walking towards me I move so as to leave as much space as the sidewalk allows, and keep an eye on the person as he walks by, just turning your head and torso a bit allows you to keep an eye on the person as he or she walks five or six yards pass you. Also keep in mind the sound of the footsteps. Those usually give you some information. If as you keep walking and turn your head back to the direction you’re going you hear a fast pace of footsteps then turn back in case their moving against you. These are all very natural, basic instinctive things but as rational creatures we’ve been trying for generations to shut down this basic instinct because its considered impolite. Survival instincts may not be very polite at times but they have their reasons.
A woman who’s husband works for the local municipal government told my wife that they are going to implement “safe corridors” from schools to train stations and other points of public transportation. Seems that kids and parents are being attacked when picking the kids from school so they will post military personal (gendarmeria) to create safe corridors.
The rest of the neighborhood? Better stick to the blocks that are guarded.
Take care folks,
Join the forum discussion on this post


Don Williams said...

1) Charleton Heston , president of the US National Rifle Association, had a few ideas on safe commuting.
: )

Anonymous said...

When I first moved in to my new neigborhood I had a strange experiance that made me think I was almost mugged. I was coming home from work and I saw a man across the street from me and for some reason my sixth sense kicked in. I got out of my car while keeping an eye on him. He began to cross the road coming towards me. About half way across the street I asked him "hows it going" He didnt respond and quickened his pace towards me so I spoke to him again and still no response. So I got in to an agressive stance and said "What are you doing" at this point he was walking faster. At this point he was close enough to me and I thought go time. I turned towards him and showed him my pistol on my belt and then put my hand on the grip at this point he stopped and truned around and went back to the other side of the road and went on his way. The kicker in this stroy is Im a 6' 1" 250 lb man and I was wearing my security uniform. I dont know what the man was thinking but in the next couple of weeks I found out a house down the street (from the direction he was coming from) was raided in a drug bust. Maybe he was a tweeker who couldnt aford his next fix I will never know. All I did know was when my wife moved after the wedding two weeks later I made sure she had pepper spray and made sure she watched her back.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of that movie" Children Of Men" as to the safe corridors.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great info!
That I had not heard of the second trick before (the one where the muggers act like they know you so they can rob you in plain sight.)

-Scott in TN

Anonymous said...

Walking on the sidewalk at night near poorly lit areas..bad idea. My brother was surprised by someone who jumped out and put the tip of a Fairbairn knife under his throat and asked for his wallet. He was more scared that the guy would bump into him and realize that he had a holstered pistol under his jacket and just cut his throat. He lucked out and gave up the wallet and the guy disappeared into the bushes again.