Monday, April 20, 2009

Crime Watch: Linda Vista Road and Fulton Street

Last Saturday on April 18, 2009, shortly after 6:00 a.m. in the vicinity of Linda Vista Road and Fulton Street a female friend was walking to the bus stop on her way to work when she was ambushed and viciously assaulted in what Police are calling an attempted rape.

Her attacker shoved a gun to the side of her head and started to drag her away. She fought back. At least one shot was fired by her assailant that narrowly missed hitting and probably killing her. She was beaten with the pistol and received numerous injuries before her attacker fled the scene. Eventually, she was assisted by some people in nearby apartments.

She is hurt, traumatized and it is likely that she will not be returning to work for some time. She is fortunate to be alive. It is without reservation that I can attest my friend was respected and liked, if not loved by everyone who knew her. Her fellow employees are taking up a collection for her at work. This woman has some healing to do, might be out of work for a while and she and her family should not be worried about whether the electricity will be turned off during her recuperation.

Here is the initial news report: Suspect in Linda Vista Assault Still on the Loose.

The first follow-up report is mostly about public safety: Protect Yourself from an Attack with Self-Defense Training. I appreciate that the choice to fight an attacker was addressed. She was hurt and could have been killed, but common wisdom states that if taken from the scene of an attack the odds of survival drop precipitously.

The suspect was described as male, of slim build, dark-skinned, in his late 20s and wearing a white, hooded sweatshirt. It was reported that he fled the scene in a dark-colored compact vehicle. This is an initial description and may not be fully accurate.

I'm sure the Police will be doing all they can to apprehend this criminal. If the age of the attacker is as reported it is doubtful this is the first crime this person has perpetrated and he is in a database somewhere. It is during events like the recent attack that one wishes television crime shows were not so fanciful and that DNA tests would quickly identify a suspect in a matter of hours. A check of the San Diego Police Department crime statistics maps reveals a number of sexual assaults in the vicinity over the last month but it isn't possible for civilians to determine if they are related. The stats for that particular area are not any greater or less than those for nearly any section of the city so it would be foolish to speculate and better left for Police to determine.

While often it is the steady hard work of dedicated and trained individuals in Law Enforcement that solves crimes sometimes they are closed by the average person connecting some dots and passing the word along. I'm hoping that if the Police are unable to swiftly resolve this crime then maybe some civilian will help. For example: One could help by noticing that someone matching the description of the attacker and driving a similar car didn't come into work Monday. Then when they showed up on Tuesday had lots of scratches about the face and arms.

Anonymous tips can be sent in via the San Diego Crime Stoppers site.

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