Here's another incident in a wave of iPhone snatchings across the city, but this one was in the otherwise less often crime-ridden Castro. Personal trainer Dalton Huckaby was both mugged and assaulted on Monday night around 9 p.m. while he was walking down 17th Street near Noe. (We actually witnessed him talking to police just after the incident, and his face was pretty badly bloodied.)
As the Castro Biscuit reports, Huckaby was talking on his iPhone when it was suddenly snatched from him by a black-hoodied assailant, about 5-foot 7-inches, who did a good job of concealing his face before running off. Being pretty fit and able-bodied, Huckaby attempted to run after the thief, only to be attacked from behind and knocked to the ground by a second suspect. He sustained multiple scrapes and bruises to his face and hand.
Huckaby then got up and saw the second suspect, whom he describes as skinny, Anglo and tweakery, hovering nearby under a tree and possibly holding a weapon. So, he decided to walk away, and some neighbors then came to his aid and called police.
Longtime neighborhood resident Waiyde Palmer of Castro Biscuit says that the recent crimes around the Castro, including that nasty, hate-crime/carjacking in December, call to mind the crime wave in the neighborhood during the 80s and early 90s. In order to fend off hate crimes and muggings at the time, gay men in the neighborhood took to wearing whistles around their necks.
If you get attacked, [you were supposed to] blow it loud and continuously as you try to get away. If you saw someone being attacked blow it. Hear the sound of a whistle blow? Blow yours and run to their aid not away from it. The whistles created a cacophony of noise as each person who heard the shrill tweet added their whistle’s voice alerting everyone and anyone there was a problem ... People felt safer, more confident with the knowledge they weren’t out in the dark on their own and people had their backs.
When it comes to these crimes of opportunity, in this and other neighborhoods where phone snatchings and petty crimes are becoming more common, the whistle thing might not be such a bad idea for resurrection.