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View Full Version : OT: Violently robbed Friday night, a reflection


CMiller
11-14-2016, 03:38 PM
Not related to bikes, but something I wrote after going through a really tough week, thought I'd share it with a community I value. I am doing completely fine, CT scan was clear. I took the day off work today, spending good time reading through our forum posts. Please stay safe out there, especially as these evening rides turn darker quicker as the seasons change.

--


For every stranger that jumped me last night, there were 4 strangers that stopped to help.

3 friends and I were robbed on the south side of Lake Merritt in Oakland last night. They hit me on the back of my head and used a stun gun on me, then pepper sprayed/shocked 2 female friends while one friend ran away. It was terrifying when we couldn't find the third, and it was reassuring when she came back with a group of people that offered to help in any way.

There is irony in being assaulted with self-defense weapons. There is cowardice in hitting someone from behind. There is a very real tension and uncertainty in our communities right now. You can protest police violence and still feel relieved when you see their lights and sirens. You can profile a perpetrator without profiling a people. You can protest and still hate a broken business window. You can be a stranger and still be a friend.

For every stranger that jumped me last night, there were 4 strangers that stopped to help. Many issues right now are grounded in the uncertain creation of “the other,” but these lines become hazy. There are too many divides, there is too much confusion. I don’t hate the robbers, I hate that they used violent means immediately. I don’t hate the police, I hate that they suggested this could have gone different if I had a gun, because this could have gone SO DIFFERENT if the robbers did too. I hate that in a time of such political pain, I am feeling it physically. That their social circumstance put these lives in a position to cause such unneeded harm on others.

I hate that someone questioned whether it was a Trump hate crime (all 4 of us are minorities), and even though it definitely wasn’t, there are messages for lynchings at UPenn that make it sound like not a bad guess. I hate that after talking to my best friend she was worried this experience would change me for the worst forever.

But it won’t.

For every stranger that jumped me last night, there were 4 strangers that stopped to help. I’m not giving up on us yet.

rileystylee
11-14-2016, 03:42 PM
that's just horrible - glad you are relatively unscathed and have kept faith in human kindness - there are some great people out there but a lot of scumbags too..
Happened to me a couple of times when i lived in london and it sure makes you feel a bit twitchy for a while.
Best wishes from the other side of the Atlantic :beer:

MattTuck
11-14-2016, 03:47 PM
Damn, that is just a terrible thing to happen. Sadly, I'm sure it happens more than most would like to admit. Glad that you are on the mend physically, and hope that the emotional healing goes well for you and your compatriots.

Luwabra
11-14-2016, 03:57 PM
GD. this is truly upsetting.. Im rapidly losing faith in Americans not just on a political front but a social front as well. Im trying to raise 3 kids in a country that seems to be losing ground on the idea and practice of humanity and acceptance. Disturbing.

FlashUNC
11-14-2016, 04:03 PM
One day at time. I got rolled at N Berkeley BART about a year and a half ago.

Can't have that stuff mean you stop living life though. You're alive, no lasting damage, and you can replace stuff. That's the important thing.

Hope Oakland PD catches 'em...

CSTRider
11-14-2016, 04:08 PM
Really glad to hear everyone is OK. I greatly admire your resolve to hold your head high and not let the perpetrators of this senseless act alter your view of the world ... best wishes to you and your friends - stay strong!

Cicli
11-14-2016, 04:18 PM
OP,
Glad you are ok. You handled it well.

Matthew
11-14-2016, 04:19 PM
Just awful. Glad all of you are ok. It does appear the country and the world are turning to **** lately. I know there are good people out there. But looking at the news everyday is very depressing. So many senseless crimes. So much hate it appears too. I am going to keep thinking positive and hope that things start to turn around at some point. Hang in there.

cdn_bacon
11-14-2016, 04:24 PM
glad you lived to tell the tale and still have faith.

appreciate you sharing!

verticaldoug
11-14-2016, 04:35 PM
I am glad you are alright, but you should rethink the incident. There is always an aspect of wrong place wrong time unlucky, but in this day and age, you need awareness of your surroundings. Getting mugged once, is more than enough.

moose8
11-14-2016, 04:41 PM
I'm glad you are ok. It's really unusual for such a large group to get robbed I would think. Sorry for your very bad luck and feel better.

marciero
11-14-2016, 04:51 PM
Terrible and disturbing. What a violation. I admire your sense of hope and optimism, rather than hate, anger, cynicism, which would be understandable.

marciero
11-14-2016, 05:08 PM
I am glad you are alright, but you should rethink the incident. There is always an aspect of wrong place wrong time unlucky, but in this day and age, you need awareness of your surroundings. Getting mugged once, is more than enough.

Oh Please- let's not scold the OP for lacking in awareness. I find the suggestion that the he/she is even partly responsible for the crime a little irritating.

Keith A
11-14-2016, 05:14 PM
Wow! I'm really glad that you are okay...must have been pretty terrifying.

alexstar
11-14-2016, 05:22 PM
Oh Please- let's not scold the OP for lacking in awareness. I find the suggestion that the he/she is even partly responsible for the crime a little irritating.

This. Victim blaming is never a good look. OP, glad you're okay. Stuff is replaceable. Life/health is not.

stephenmarklay
11-14-2016, 05:25 PM
Very sorry to hear this. Violence in the US is not new but we are in some strange times.

Kind of off topic but not really; I was just listening to A Freakonomics podcast on “Trust” and I got the sense that the breakdown of trust has bitten us in the ass. Everyone is just out for themselves and that is not working.

guido
11-14-2016, 05:31 PM
Sad sad news. Stick close to your friends...

OtayBW
11-14-2016, 05:32 PM
I hate that after talking to my best friend she was worried this experience would change me for the worst forever.

But it won’t.I don't know. You went through hell and came out well-reasoned and thoughtful, and with as healthy an attitude as I can image given the circumstances.
Maybe it has changed you, even if a little - but for the better.

beeatnik
11-14-2016, 06:08 PM
I am glad you are alright, but you should rethink the incident. There is always an aspect of wrong place wrong time unlucky, but in this day and age, you need awareness of your surroundings. Getting mugged once, is more than enough.

aka

Oakland now is not what it was


Over 20 years ago, first college party at UC Berkeley, met a kid, who became, for me, the personification of the worst of Murphy's Law. Short story long (yes, short story long), this kid walked in on his girlfriend in bed with another dude. He wanted to beat both down but instead he decided to take a walk and smoke a cigarette. The walk became a journey home, 5 miles back to Berkeley from Oaktown. Halfway home he was jumped by 3 thugs, one wielding a steel pipe. They couldn't take him down and he escaped for a few blocks, but got caught. He was assaulted again, yet somehow separated one of the thugs from the pipe and beat 2 while the third ran away. Then he walked home 2 more miles. I was shocked. Mostly because I grew up in a community with one of the highest rates of violent crime...in America. I was shocked because I had never heard of a civilian being jumped. And yet I knew guys who had been shot (wrong place, wrong time). All, I can add, anecdotally (and more than likely backed by crime statistics), these types of assaults are very rare and very random.

CMiller, as the kid I met at the party, glad you're ok and that you wont let this horrible incident change you (as a human, that is). Be careful out there.

weisan
11-14-2016, 06:33 PM
Miller pal, glad you are ok. Hope to catch up with you next time I am in Oakland.

brownm68
11-14-2016, 06:52 PM
Really sorry to hear this. Glad to hear that you'll be ok

William
11-14-2016, 07:05 PM
Glad you are okay, it is a tough experience and you seem to have the right mindset following this. There are good and bad in this world, many more good really but sometimes it's hard to tell with the focus of most news outlets. Hold your head up high and keep on keeping on.







William

CMiller
11-14-2016, 07:29 PM
Thank you so much for the kind words, everyone.

makoti
11-14-2016, 07:33 PM
CMiller, I'll just add to the good thoughts sent your way. Very glad to hear it wasn't any worse.

Tony
11-14-2016, 07:37 PM
Glad you made it out ok.
I do find it shocking that a Oakland police officer would say this could have gone different if you had a gun.

IMHO I don't believe social circumstance caused this, just despicable people who care little for others and others property.

bikinchris
11-14-2016, 08:31 PM
Just awful. Glad all of you are ok. It does appear the country and the world are turning to **** lately. I know there are good people out there. But looking at the news everyday is very depressing. So many senseless crimes. So much hate it appears too. I am going to keep thinking positive and hope that things start to turn around at some point. Hang in there.

No, they are NOT turning to **** lately. The 24 hour news cycle and the internet allow news to travel places they never traveled before. No one out of town would have heard about this attack in days past unless they knew the people involved. Bad news sells and the violent crime rate is actually been going down over the last few years.

As for the police telling you that you should have had a gun, that's crappy advice. You could have SUPPLIED him with a gun if he had hit you just right and died on the spot (had you been carrying).

Schmed
11-14-2016, 08:32 PM
It speaks volumes about your character, CMiller, that you are able to see the good in people than focus on the bad. I'm not sure I'd feel the same, but it's something to strive for.

Gummee
11-14-2016, 08:40 PM
Oakland isn't a pretty place in places. I didn't spend a lot of time there, but even *I* knew that.

Blaming random street crime on T supporters is going to be the narrative from the press for the foreseeable future. ...despite the fact that 'hate crimes' have been committed as long as there's been small-minded people that hate because of differences

M

rwsaunders
11-14-2016, 08:42 PM
Good karma coming your way CMiller...hang in there.

Louis
11-14-2016, 08:44 PM
Just awful. Glad all of you are ok. It does appear the country and the world are turning to **** lately. I know there are good people out there. But looking at the news everyday is very depressing. So many senseless crimes. So much hate it appears too. I am going to keep thinking positive and hope that things start to turn around at some point. Hang in there.

Yeah, things have been horrible the last few decades or so...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_crime#United_States


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Property_Crime_Rates_in_the_United_States.svg/750px-Property_Crime_Rates_in_the_United_States.svg.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Violent_Crime_in_the_United_States.png

Jgrooms
11-14-2016, 11:03 PM
Oakland isn't a pretty place in places. I didn't spend a lot of time there, but even *I* knew that.



Blaming random street crime on T supporters is going to be the narrative from the press for the foreseeable future. ...despite the fact that 'hate crimes' have been committed as long as there's been small-minded people that hate because of differences



M



How about the narrative from the FBI?

Attacks on Muslim Americans Fuel Increase in Hate Crime, F.B.I. Says - The New York Times
https://apple.news/AkiH9g_LSSIyTfPR-tCKyzg

It takes so little to raise people up & by same token so little to push them to their worst nature. Over a year of hate rhetoric has a cost.

Victim blaming. I had an exp many years ago where friends were kidnapped, sexual assaulted & brutally murdered. So many people coped with it by finding some rationale that it was the victim's fault & it couldn't happen to them. It was a surprising lesson for me in how some people lack empathy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Elefantino
11-14-2016, 11:21 PM
I feel bad for Oakland but mostly feel just awful for the OP.

Hope you heal well and quickly, physically and mentally, CMiller.

oldpotatoe
11-15-2016, 06:36 AM
Glad you made it out ok.
I do find it shocking that a Oakland police officer would say this could have gone different if you had a gun.

IMHO I don't believe social circumstance caused this, just despicable people who care little for others and others property.

I am so happy they all came out of this OK..

Considering the events, yup, the guy who smacked him then zapped him would now have the guy's gun. Tough times, a lot of people are scared, angry.

ripvanrando
11-15-2016, 07:49 AM
Sorry this happened and glad you came out alive

ripvanrando
11-15-2016, 07:50 AM
Yeah, things have been horrible the last few decades or so...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_crime#United_States


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Property_Crime_Rates_in_the_United_States.svg/750px-Property_Crime_Rates_in_the_United_States.svg.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Violent_Crime_in_the_United_States.png

Overlay private gun ownership to those crime stats.

cadence90
11-15-2016, 07:54 AM
I am very glad to hear that you are OK.

I had a similar, but not nearly as bad, experience once: late night, me, the 7/11 clerk, and a guy with a gun. Fortunately nothing happened other than some menacing words and gestures, and some thievery, but crap that stuff scares you forever.

Best wishes, CMiller. You have been through more than your share of nasty confrontations.

chiasticon
11-15-2016, 08:38 AM
glad you're OK! been through similar before and it's awful. you have an excellent outlook though. hang in there.

oldpotatoe
11-15-2016, 08:46 AM
Overlay private gun ownership to those crime stats.

since you brought it up.

Locked soon, I predict.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/04/us/gun-violence-graphics

shovelhd
11-15-2016, 09:07 AM
Heal up quick, CMiller. Keep the faith.

Tony
11-15-2016, 10:03 AM
I am so happy they all came out of this OK..

Considering the events, yup, the guy who smacked him then zapped him would now have the guy's gun. Tough times, a lot of people are scared, angry.

Oakland is a city with a high crime rate involving guns. In 2012 FBI released its figures for the most dangerous cities in America and Oakland came in fourth place. "2016 Oakland has the highest robbery rate in the country. There were 570 aggravated assaults reported for every 100,000 city residents, still more than double the national rate." Oakland officers are trying to get guns off the street, almost unbelievable that one would recommend you should carry a gun.

gasman
11-15-2016, 12:27 PM
Wow CMiller I'm really glad to hear you're okay. I can't imagine I or others would be so calm about it.

redir
11-15-2016, 12:28 PM
Dang CMIller sorry to hear about such a horrible ting. You have a much better spirit then I can have regarding our species especially after something like that.

Your words reminded me of this story which I want to read. I think our natural instinct is to revenge and even violence and hate and that's why nonviolence confuses the heck out of them.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/16/antoine-leiris-you-will-not-have-my-hate-interview-paris-attacks-helene-bataclan

bikingshearer
11-15-2016, 08:56 PM
Cmiller - very sorry this happened, very, very glad it wasn't worse. This may make you more nervous around strangers - that is normal. But your positive attitude will do you good as well as inspiring us.

The truth of the matter is that the vast, vast majority of human interactions are in the great-to-mildly-unpleasant range. In other words, no big deal. We don't hear about them because they are the norm. The norm doesn't sell newspapers, get advertisers on the 11:00 O'Clock News, or clicks on the internet. 'Twas ever thus.

Put another way, the kind of sh*ts who did this Cmiller and friends are the outliers. That is why they are news - there's a reason for the old saw in journalism that states "if it bleeds, it leads." It is good to remind ourselves of that.

We do need to be aware of our surroundings (and that is not a knock on Cmiller, just a general statement of reality - hell, it applies to looking both ways when crossing the street, too), but we also have to remember that the vast majority of people are pretty decent the vast majority of the time. Losing sight of that makes one paranoid, bitter and miserable. And that is no way to live.

Thanks for reminding us of that, Cmiller. I hope the psychic and physical trauma of your bad evening pass quickly. Your positive attitude is the best way to make sure hey do.

giverdada
11-15-2016, 09:19 PM
CMiller is amazing. It takes a whole heck of a lot of character to focus on the good in such a crap situation, and you did it. You eloquently recounted, with parallel structure to drive home the point, that there were far more 'strangers' to help than there were 'strangers' to harm. Amazing. Such was my experience when involved in a hit and run/fail to remain back in May. I always focus on and remember the people, the total strangers, who did stop their cars, who did run to help, who did pull me and my bike out of the street. Your experience, which is entirely not a fault of yours whatsoever, from any angle, sounds horrible, and I admire your character and strength to focus on the good of it, even when it's buried under so much crap. I hope that you and your friends move on in peace.

Nick.

Iansir
11-15-2016, 11:16 PM
Glad you are OK, and totally impressed by your attitude. As someone who travels frequently to that area I will take this as a cautionary note.

malcolm
11-16-2016, 09:57 AM
Glad you are OK. I can't imagine the feeling of violation and I'm sorry you and your friends are experiencing it first hand.

The US while maybe an extreme does not have a lock on mean hateful self serving people. Since there has been more than one of us there have been unfeeling entitled mean people. I agree with the OPs premise though that they are the minority. We need to be more involved with and more aware of one another. Anonymity makes it worse and works in the perpetrators favor.

staggerwing
11-16-2016, 10:15 AM
Saddened by the despicable actions of your attackers, but deeply inspired by your positive attitude and faith in humanity.

Peace and health to you and your friends.

MsRN
11-16-2016, 12:29 PM
Whoever you are, whatever the motivation for the attack, your courage, compassion and convictions shine through, CMiller. I'm glad you're doing okay. Thank you for sharing--you are the kind of person who gives me hope for the future of our country. As one who has (since Trump) considered buying and carrying a firearm (yes, I'm among those who feel threatened), I appreciate your post all the more.

phutterman
11-16-2016, 05:49 PM
Damn, that's scary. Really glad you're ok.

I live on the north side of the lake, so functionally a somewhat (but not extremely) different neighborhood, so that hits pretty close to home.

Way to go OPD with the terrible advice, but I'm glad people stopped to help, too.

acoffin
11-17-2016, 02:18 AM
Thank you for sharing, CMiller. Your attitude and rational after facing such trauma are truly inspirational. We need so much healing right now.

slidey
11-17-2016, 02:58 AM
CMiller:
Glad you are alright, and that you are able to process it through so positively!

ripvanrando:
Here are some insights into what correlations mean: http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

One word - Nothing

beeatnik:
That is a staggeringly horrifying story! I seriously doubt, but I do hope your friend is alright now.

ripvanrando
11-17-2016, 06:18 AM
Criminals prey on the weak.

Lyrca clad old men with shaven legs look like soft targets.

I would not ride my bike thru Chicago, DC, Camden, or other crime infested cities that essentially prohibit my self defense. This comment is not intended as anything other than a statement of fact or if you will, a personal bias. 4000 shootings in Chicago or even only 60 murders in Oakland 2016 is enough for me to think about safety.....for me. Not a blame the victim comment. Just food for thought comment.

Fox Labs Pepper Spray might be a good idea. The biggest size allowed. Some locales do not even allow real pepper spray.....be careful. I am not sure I agree with the Police Officer who advocated a handgun and I am not only a fireamr owner but an instructor. A handgun is difficult to carry on a bike and difficult to draw and these spurious attacks are quick. I am not saying to anyone not to carry a gun but I rarely carry while riding. Accessing pepper spray is much quicker. I know a cyclist who was attacked and he sprayed bear spray on his two attackers. He called the police who then started to arrest him (the cyclist) for assaulting the two thugs. The cyclist had video! The thugs were laying moaning and complaining that the cyclist did not offer water to quench the burning eyes. After seeing the video, the cop told the thugs that the rider should have sprayed a second time and then arrested the two thugs. Of the four times I have been subject to mugging attempts, two were is "safe" European cities and the other two times were in "safe" Boston. Twice with knives (Paris and Boston) and twice was three on one with fists. This is enough statistical inference for me.

malcolm
11-17-2016, 10:08 AM
CMiller:
Glad you are alright, and that you are able to process it through so positively!

ripvanrando:
Here are some insights into what correlations mean: http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

One word - Nothing

beeatnik:
That is a staggeringly horrifying story! I seriously doubt, but I do hope your friend is alright now.

So, let me get this straight no more science and tech spending, no more Nick Cage movies and no more cheese eating.

I can live without the Nick Cage movies but the rest is just horrifying.

Fatty
11-17-2016, 10:35 AM
Not exactly Mayberry.


http://www.crimemapping.com/map/agency/265