A pack of bike thieves attacked a man after he caught them stealing his ride in Lake City last week.
At about 4:30pm on January 17th, the man saw three young men across the street, making off with his bicycle, which he’d left locked up on the street at NE 30th and 125th NE.
The man yelled at the three young bike thieves, who then approached the victim.
The man wrestled his bike away from the three suspects, who walked off.
A few moments later, the three suspects came back, exchanged words with the man, and attacked him.
One of the suspects punched the victim in the face, breaking his nose, and leaving him swelling on his face, and a bloody ear.
A bystander broke up the fight and chased the suspects down the street.
The victim rode his bike home, and had has mother drive him to a shopping complex, where he contacted police.
Police didn’t make any arrests, but a report indicates they were going to try to check footage from a security camera near the scene to identify the suspects.
Thanks to Stickney for passing that along.
I was in Queen Anne one night last year with two female friends for the premiere of Man Zou. The film was great, we went to a little restaurant around the corner for a reception, had some food and began walking back to our car. From across the street I saw a man huddled over a bicycle, presumably unlocking it. It was taking longer than it should so I walked over, suspicion aroused. That’s when I noticed he had a small pair of diagonal cutters trying to cut through a cable lock (which is quite easy to do, for those of you that think your bike is safe with one…)
“What are you doing?”
“It’s my bike.”
At this point I realize it’s a crappy bike. The man is older, doesn’t speak english very well, and it looks like his clothes had seen better days. Now I ask myself if it is his bike. Am I being an asshole?- maybe he lost the key…. WAIT! It’s a combo lock! Fucker.
“That’s not your bike!”
“It’s my bike!”
“Why are you cutting the lock then? Just open it. You are stealing a bike and I’m not going to let you do that.”
“It’s my bike! No combination- fuck you! It’s my bike!”
I observe that he’s clearly drunk, and consider that he could possibly become violent. He has diagonal cutters, that would work very well as a blunt object with which to dig out an eye. I also take into consideration that I have my girlfriend and her friend with me. Though I’m quite confident that they could hold it down if things got ugly, it would have been me that put them in that situation by confronting the guy. I’m now reconsidering my effort to thwart what I view as one of the lowest criminals around- bike theives.
“NO! Walk away. Right now. We are calling the police. You are stealing a bike- get out of here right now.”
He looks up at me- I stand a few inches taller, am sober- and I think he realizes that he may have picked the wrong time to steal a bike. He teeters for a minute, and begins to walk off, partially cut cable lock keeping a crappy bike locked to a rack, and his diagonal cutters in hand.
“Fuck you. You are— Republican! You are George Bush lover! Fuck you!”
Really? Did he just call me a Bush loving republican? Really!?! I didn’t know what to say. I fought back the effort to laugh, or maybe to explain to him that I was not, in fact, a republican. George Bush was far from who I supported in the last presidential election… but I bit my tongue- knowing that I should keep focused. I didn’t want to get into a political discussion with a bike thief.
After he walked off, we shouted up to the apartment compound that the bike owner presumably inside of, saying that there was somebody stealing bikes. No reply, no word on whether they came and retrieved it.
He stumbled off into the night- to either find another poorly defended victim, or to return to the scene of the crime and finish this one off after we left. As we walked by Dick’s Burgers I saw two cops standing in front of the restaurant. I gave a quick replay, describing the man, and saying that it was highly likely that he would return to get the bike after we left. They then told me that I should NEVER confront a perpetrator, and I should just call the police. But then they said that they would not be leaving Dick’s Burgers- as that was their post. Ummmm. OK. They didn’t even call it in.
What does all this mean?
What happens when you see someone stealing your or someone else’s bike? What do you do? Confronting someone that is committing a crime, or doing something that is fucked up is always a gamble- you never know what is going to happen. The perp could be carrying a weapon, or in the case in Lake City- his friends. We’ve seen videos or heard stories of bike thieves being thwarted- maybe even getting their asses kicked. The fact is, that you are really putting yourself at risk by confronting a bike thief. I wouldn’t suggest it. In fact, I would advise AGAINST it.
- The best thing that you can do is to lock your bike well- so yours isn’t stolen. Good locks cost money, but nice bikes cost much more. Even more important than a good lock is locking your bike properly.
- If you see something happening, call the police immediately. Sure, they might not do anything, but it’s a step that should be taken in the event that the perp is caught.
- Alert others that there is bad shit going down. These are possible witnesses.
- Make mental notes about the perp. Most bike thieves are repeat offenders, and being able to identify them can help in building a case.
All that being said- to the bike thieves out there- if I catch you trying to steal even a light off my bike, I WILL HURT YOU. I will smack you across the face in front of your friend like the punk you are and take my shit back. Real talk.
On a lighter note- A little Madonna action from Travis: